September 25, 2012

A Capella Perfected

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And that was it. Hands down. Pitch Perfect has created a fandom for what the movie is and will become. It is also the remedy for a wearied soul longing for a new and special comedy.  And if you did not go to the exclusive (and free) sneak peek of the movie on Monday hosted by Cornell Cinema, well, shame on you.

The evening began with performances by two of Cornell’s a cappella groups; The Class Notes and CallbaXX sang “Chariot” (Gavin Degraw) and “No Substitute Lover” (Estelle) respectively. Following this fitting musical introduction to the night, the groups sat down together with the music-enthused audience.

Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin ’00, Pitch Perfect follows Beca (Anna Kendrick), an “alternative” loner with dreams of making it big in L.A. as a D.J. But due to a promise she makes to her father, who also happens to teach at the university, she is forced to hang on for her freshman year and attempts to settle into collegiate norms. At school, Beca is approached by an all-female a cappella group: the Bellas. They are desperate for a powerhouse singer after their little vomit mishap during the International Championship of College A cappella (ICCA) finals the year before.

But where would the Capulets be without the Montagues? The Bellas’ main competition is a group of bad boys, the Treblemakers, led by a goof, Bumper (Workaholic star Adam Devine). A new member who joins their ranks, Jesse (Skylar Astin), is drawn to Beca from day one. And as the memory of John Hughes lives, Jesse and Beca come to watch The Breakfast Club’s ending together, revealing the movie’s inner desire to be a modern-day John Hughes movie.

The film is chronologically set-up according to the days until the ICCA Finals. After tumultuous leadership changes in both the Bellas and the Treblemakers, the two groups once again share the same stage, led by Beca and Jesse respectively.

There’s nothing too new here. This is a movie with the same formulaic structure, centering around a teenage girl who is encountering a new arena. It has been overplayed and dried out since its popularity peak with Hughes (R.I.P.). Don’t get me wrong. I quite enjoy satisfying my guilty urge to watch horribly-made romantic comedies. But what we really want is really a breath of fresh, zesty air from the usual romantic comedic voodoos. And that is where Pitch Perfect comes into play.

The cast is wonderfully selected to make this seemingly normal plot go even further. Beca is no Rachel (of Glee). But she and the other members of this fictional musical society, such as Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Tommy (Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Superbad who makes a short cameo), create a raunchy yet charming ensemble of characters.

And for an a cappella-loving campus, it was unsurprising that Cornell Cinema was a full house for the night. For those who love the raunchy, the comic, the romantic, the quirky and the musical, but missed out on the film to study for prelims on Monday, rest assured. The movie will go national on Oct. 5 and you can catch it at Regal Cinemas at Ithaca Mall.

But until I can watch it again, I’ll just have to make do with having Simple Mind’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” on repeat and throwing my fist in the air.

Original Author: Teresa Kim

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