Every once in awhile I come across a film that is so joyous, so wonderful, and so perfectly tailored to my sense of humour, I wonder where it’s been all my life. The last time a film captured my heart in such a manner was a couple of months ago when a good friend insisted that I watch Pitch Perfect. For 112 minutes I laughed myself silly, remembered fondly my days at university, and delighted in the inspired musical performances. I recently revisited this film, and its second viewing only served to cement this movie’s position on my list of personal favourite films.
Pitch Perfect tells the story of two duelling a cappella groups at Barden University: the all male Treblemakers and the all female Barden Bellas. Set in a world where a cappella groups are the top dogs of the college social scene, the film follows freshman Beca Mitchell as she joins the Bellas, cultivates a relationship with rival Treblemaker Jesse Swanson, and tries to shake up the Bellas by infusing new life into their performances. While the film may hit all the standard elements of your typical sports film, these elements are executed in a way that is anything but conventional, including failure by way of projectile vomit, an epiphany by way of The Breakfast Club, and my personal favourite, a late night Riff-Off featuring all the school’s vocal groups engaged in a battle royale of a cappella singing.
Eminently quotable, Pitch Perfect is filled with hysterical one liners, and I can’t think of a more perfectly cast film, which features Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, and Anna Camp, with scene stealing performances from Rebel Wilson, Hana Mae Lee, and Ben Platt. As one can expect from a movie about a cappella groups, this one is filled with brilliant musical performances and arrangements, and the singing is wonderfully authentic and a lovely departure from the auto-tuned dreck that is standard on today’s Top 40 radio. Pitch Perfect may be over the top, outrageous, and surreal at times, but at its core this film is about the friendships forged between the widely varied personalities of the members of the Bellas, and while the film holds plenty of snark, it is also sweet, earnest, and genuinely heartfelt. In other words, the perfect go to movie for when you’re having a bad day.