It took three years for the “Glee” high to trickle down into film? Surprising that Hollywood didn’t milk the a capella pop song earlier because now that goose is no longer popping out golden eggs … and now we’re left with “Pitch Perfect.” It’s a movie happy to riff on the vocal talent Ryan Murphy assembled but wants none of the social responsibility.
It takes swipes at minorities, overweight people, homosexuals … really anyone who doesn’t fit in. ”Pitch Perfect” is stuck in the old normal, which may be gleeful fun for some but just makes me wince. (I have to have set some kind of record for Ryan Murphy series wordplay there.) If the film’s humor isn’t knocking down the little guy, it’s making some HEINOUS pun on the word a capella. If you cringe at the thought of hearing someone say “A ca-scuse me?!” with a straight face, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
I guess it’s also trying to adhere to the old normal of high school/college movies, trying to fashion itself as the new “Mean Girls” … which itself was trying to be a new John Hughes film. ”Pitch Perfect” even goes as far as to blatantly self-reference and name drop these movies! I’m not entirely opposed to trying to make lightning strike the same place twice. However, if you are going to so patently harken back to a classic, you have to be prepared to face the an apples-to-apples comparison.
And “Pitch Perfect” is no “The Breakfast Club.” Heck, it’s more like a “Jennifer’s Body,” a comedy that inspires more groans than laughs and think it has a whole lot more insightful things to say about growing up than it actually does. Not even the presence of Anna Kendrick, who won my heart in “Up in the Air,” can salvage this movie. The only worthwhile segments in the bloated two hour duration were the well-orchestrated a capella pieces, but you can just listen to those on YouTube or Spotify or however the kids listen to music these days. There’s no reason you need to see the whole rest of the movie just to get to those. C- /