Movie Review: ‘Pitch Perfect’ hits the right note

Aliza Weinberger, Columnist

When you first think of an a cappella performance, you probably imagine something that you would hear at a nursing home more so than at a rock show or a dance club. But after seeing “Pitch Perfect,” the film-directing debut of Northwestern alumnus Jason Moore, I now know the right a cappella arrangement can be mind-blowing.

Starring Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “50/50”), “Pitch Perfect” is the story of an all-female college a cappella group that has to change its traditional and tired style to compete in the flashy world of competitive collegiate a cappella. But this movie isn’t a matriculated version of  “Glee” or an episode of “The Voice.” It’s more in the vein of underdog sports comedies such as “Dodgeball” and girl-powered raunchy ensemble comedies such as “Bridesmaids.” Though the music is amazing and important, “Pitch Perfect” is first and foremost a comedy and a hilarious one, at that.

Though it is not necessarily a given that the entire cast of a movie musical can sing well (I still have nightmares about “Mamma Mia!”), the vocal prowess of the actors and actresses in this film is phenomenal, and the various groups sound amazing together. Moore’s past as a Broadway director fits perfectly within this genre, and his take on the audition sequence is, without a doubt, the greatest version of the classic scene I have ever seen. The music department for this film deserves a shout-out for the song arrangements and mash-ups that bring the heart of the story to life.

Kudos also go to Kay Cannon for her script. The movie perfectly captures the kinds of people one meets at college, and the musical band of misfits portrayed are simultaneously stereotypical to a comedic degree while feeling three-dimensional and real. Though some of the jokes are “low brow” (if you can’t stand vomit, beware) and there are insults for every walk of life, the film is laugh-out-loud funny. Of course, it does contain Australian comedian Rebel Wilson (“Bridesmaids,” “Bachelorette”), who is fast becoming one of my favorite comedic actresses.

If you love music and coming-of-age comedies like “Mean Girls” and “Bridesmaids,” not to mention supporting NU grads in the film industry, be sure to check out “Pitch Perfect” which was, simply, perfectly on pitch.