Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Pitch Perfect’ Review: Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson Dominate

“Pitch Perfect” is an amazing movie for three main reasons: 1) It plays homage to John Hughes’ films, 2) the hilarious Rebel Wilson, and 3) Anna Kendrick, who has the right to sing to me any day!

I sat next to people in the theatre who despise “Glee” and all musical-type singing movies, and they walked out of the theatre loving “Pitch Perfect.” The movie aims to please and entertain the audience for the full hour and 50 minutes and that’s exactly what it does.

Beca (Anna Kendrick) is just starting her first year of college and she couldn’t be less thrilled about it. Her true dream is to go to Los Angeles to produce and make music, but her dad, a professor at the college insists she at least try the college life first. Beca is rebellious, a little close-minded and would rather listen to music all day long than make conversation.

Beca attends the activities fair on campus, where she first learns about the all-girls a cappella group, The Bellas. Pretty girls Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) need several recruits to join The Bellas so they can compete in the national championship again. Beca thinks the group is bogus, claiming she can’t sing anyways, but when Chloe catches her singing in the dorm shower, she convinces her to audition for The Bellas.

During auditions, we get a lovely mash-up of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” sung by the good, the bad and the weird. The eclectic new members of The Bellas include Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), (who calls herself that so the “twigs” don’t call her that behind her back), the sex-pot Stacie (Alexis Knapp), the butch bad-ass Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), the soft spoken Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and Beca.

There’s another a cappella group on campus, pretty similar to “Glee’s” Warblers: all male, all talented, some cute. A flirty friendship blossoms between Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin), and although she says they’re “just friends,” Aubrey says she has an obvious “toner” for Jesse and she better be careful. Jesse quickly turns into a favorite character because he stresses the importance of movies, particularly John Hughes films to Beca, saying she’s crazy for having never watched “The Breakfast Club.” Genius move on screenwriter Kay Cannon’s part.

The performances by this talented cast are tuned to perfection. Each character has something to offer the audience and there are so many moments where you will laugh-out-loud. Wilson, who finally gets a chance to show her charm, wit and humor (she’s had small parts in “Bridesmaids” & “Bachelorette”) runs the screenplay. Every single line that comes out of her mouth is a smash. “Crushed it.”

As much as Wilson is down-right funny, this is Kendrick’s movie. I’ve loved Anna Kendrick when I first saw her in the “Twilight” films, but it was her performance in “Up in the Air” across from George Clooney that got everyone buzzing about the petite and quirky actress. She was fantastic as Jake Gyllenhaal’s love interest in “End of Watch,” which is currently in theatres, but I’d argue that her role in “Pitch Perfect” is her best. She’s funny, she can sing beautifully and she is a stellar leading actress.

Director Jason Moore and screenwriter Kay Cannon create a film that is a perfect mixture of “Bring It On,” “Bridesmaids” and “Mean Girls,” but it’s Wilson and Kendrick that make the film memorable.

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