PITCH PERFECT (Jason Moore). 105 minutes. Opens Friday (September 28). See listings. Rating: NNNN
This delightful new comedy is set in the world of college a cappella squads, but it very quickly sets itself apart from the facile feel-goodery of Glee. Pitch Perfect finds the buoyant joy in talented young people filtering pop hits through upbeat arrangements, but it also celebrates the invention that drives artists to screw around with existing works.
The remarkable Anna Kendrick - a Tony nominee for a 1998 production of High Society - stars as the alt-minded Beca, a college freshman yanked into a desperate campus singing group, the Barden Bellas.
Naturally, Beca's instincts lead the Bellas to develop a new mashup style, which pits her against the traditionally minded leader (Anna Camp) even as the Bellas face off against slicker acts like the all-male Treble Makers, who've recruited Beca's would-be boyfriend, Jesse (Skylar Astin).
And I haven't even mentioned Rebel Wilson, who becomes the movie's MVP as a snappish Tasmanian transfer student who calls herself Fat Amy. Or Elizabeth Banks, who produced the film and gives herself a great little role as an embittered commentator covering the various sing-offs. Or Kay Cannon, the 30 Rock writer who's turned Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction book into a pop funhouse filled with great throwaway lines and seriously twisted running gags.
Go see Pitch Perfect and discover them for yourself. And come out singing.