I loved ”Mamma Mia!”, the ABBA movie. I loved “Hairspray.” So of course I also loved “Pitch Perfect.” Watching a group of misfits perform everything from Ace of Base to Rihanna together is infectiously, vicariously fun. But aside from the singing (though the singing is so good!) this is a story of unexpected friendships and life-changing love.
The plot is simple: Aubrey (Anna Camp), the Queen Bee of the Barden Bellas, an all-women’s college a cappella group, desperately tries to revive the girls’ reputation after an unfortunate incident at last year’s finals competition: You only have to YouTube “a cappella barf” to find out what that is. Will they or won’t they triumph in finals this time around?
As a sub-plot, there’s a girl-meets-boy story. Beca (Anna Kendrick), the alterna-girl protagonist, comes to Barden as a freshman, but all she really wants to do is move to L.A. and become a music producer. Her college-professor dad convinces her to give higher education a try, and the Bellas, after discovering her considerable vocal talents, basically force her to join the group (watch out for the very uncomfortable naked shower scene). While interning at the college radio station, Beca meets college-boy-next-door Jesse (Skylar Astin), another freshman and a member of the rival a cappella group. It’s practically Montagues and Capulets, except instead of killing themselves they rearrange “Killing Me Softly.”