May 27, 2013

Pitch Perfect

Stub Hubby On Demand Presents: Pitch Perfect

A fun and brisk "teenagers win a championship" movie, set in the very silly and melodramatic world of collegiate competitive a capella.
The music was terrific, the cast was colorful and fun. Anna Kendrick is solid in the Winona Ryder role, Rebel Wilson steals the movie with her moments of brilliance. Skylar Astin, Kendrick's love interest in the rival a capella group, distracted me with his similarity to Dane Cook. He looked like a teenage Dane Clone, seriously.
Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) is stuck in a thankless role as the antagonist- the new leader of the group who is obsessed with repairing the mistakes of the past. She has nice skin and she's a terrific actress, but Camp does not look like a 21-year-old college senior. Indeed, Camp was born in 1982, not 1992.
My wife co-founded the coed a capella group "SQ" at Tufts University (as an alternative to the single-sex groups on campus) so I was eager to hear her perspective. She felt the movie really captured the unique personalities and overblown melodrama of the a capella world.
I enjoyed the movie very much, but I also felt that it was pitched to a teenage audience. This is NOT a criticism, but I am certain that the evolution of Kendrick and Camp's characters resonates much more strongly with teenagers. I also appreciated that the movie acknowledged collegiate drinking and marijuana use without glamorizing it, or showing drug abuse or binge drinking.
At times Anna Kendrick's Beca talks like a young Liz Lemon (she even dresses like Lemon.) While watching I had forgotten that the movie was written by veteran 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon. Kudos for her tight screenplay with a fresh, youthful perspective.