Fun of a mu­si­cal, with vomit jokes

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ran­dall King

TO out­ward ap­pear­ances, it may look like a col­lege mu­si­cal com­edy or an a cap­pella vari­ant of the com­pet­i­tive cheer­leader movie Bring It On.

But Pitch Per­fect is ac­tu­ally the first movie out of the gate to cash in on the sur­prise suc­cess of last year’s rude girl com­edy Brides­maids.

There’s a stum­bling ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship some­where in here, but as in Brides­maids, the true em­pha­sis is on a tan­gly group of women who must put aside their dif­fer­ences if they are go­ing to achieve suc­cess. And in keep­ing with the re­fresh­ingly rude tone of Kris­ten Wiig’s com­edy, there are also jokes about vomit, promis­cu­ity and large nip­ples.

Beca (Anna Ken­drick) is a would-be mu­sic pro­ducer who has promised her col­lege pro­fes­sor dad a year of study in ex­change for his spon­sor­ing an at­tempt to launch her mu­sic ca­reer in Los Angeles. But to do that, she must join at least one ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar club, and she stum­bles into the a cap­pella group The Bel­las af­ter team lieu­tenant Chloe (Brit­tany Snow) sub­jects her to an em­bar­rass­ing vo­cal au­di­tion in the col­lege’s shower room.

Beca joins other out­cast girls in­clud­ing one who calls her­self Fat Amy ( Brides­maids’ Rebel Wil­son) “so twiggy bitches like you don’t do it be­hind my back,” as well as a nearly silent Asian songstress (Hana Mae Lee) given to whis­per­ing dis­turb­ing con­fes­sions: “I set fires to feel joy.”

But the im­pe­ri­ous leader of the pack is Aubrey (Anna Camp), the al­pha-harpy who in­sists on a set list of sug­ary pop songs and a wardrobe sug­gest­ing sexy ’60s stew­ardesses. She is also the woman who blew the pre­vi­ous year’s cham­pi­onship with an un­seemly bout of pro­jec­tile vom­it­ing in mid-per­for­mance, los­ing the ti­tle to the col­lege’s ob­nox­ious all-male arch-ri­vals the Tre­ble Mak­ers. Will his­tory re­peat it­self?

While Ken­drick hap­pens to be an ex­cel­lent singer, she doesn’t dis­play much in the way of comic chops, act­ing as straight-woman to pretty much ev­ery­one else in the cast. She’s not ter­ri­bly sym­pa­thetic com­pared to, say, Fat Amy, who ac­tu­ally wins loy­alty with her dis­plays of courage and hu­mour. (It’s rem­i­nis­cent of how Melissa McCarthy al­most stole Brides­maids from Wiig, come to think of it.)

The mu­si­cal per­for­mances are well-pro­duced and fun, how­ever, giv­ing Pitch Per­fect the added kick of any Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cal — al­beit one with jokes about vomit, promis­cu­ity and large nip­ples.

SONY PIC­TURES

Drac­ula (Adam San­dler) looks on ner­vously as his daugh­ter (Se­lena Gomez) shares a mo­ment with the hu­man (Andy Sam­berg).

UNIVER­SAL PIC­TURES

Rebel Wil­son as Fat Amy

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