On the eve of the sequel’s release, I want to revisit the original film that debuted in 2012 and was quite the sleeper hit by grossing over $113 million on a $17 million budget (according to Box Office Mojo). Even with those numbers, there weren’t that many people who actually saw it in the theaters, but once it hit the DVD shelves and premium movie channels, everyone was talking about Pitch Perfect. What was the craze about? This was a question that bothered me for a long time because for most movies with a cult following, I can understand it. The question if Harrison Ford was a replicant himself in Blade Runner; Ed Norton’s inner dialogue in Fight Club; Jake Gyllenhaal’s world ending in Donnie Darko; the inexplicably catchy and hilarious tunes in This is Spinal Tap, etc. But what does Pitch Perfect have to deserve this after-theater craze? During my time trying to figure it out, I came down with one conclusion. Pitch Perfect is really a terrible movie. Here are the reasons why…
1. Isn’t Barden University a bit sexist? Having an all-male a cappella group, the Treblemakers (great name btw), who are apparently the badasses of the school.
2. And then there are the Bellas, an all-female a cappella group who only sing songs from women. I guess the they’re a few steps behind in Barden University (actually, that does explain a lot).
3. So Pitch Perfect is about an a cappella group trying to win their regional and national championship. Sounds pretty much like Glee, no? Oh, it also steals the comedic commentators from Best in Show. By the way, why does an a cappella competition need commentators?
4. Projectile vomiting is funny in I Love You Man…
5. It’s even kind of funny in The Exorcist…
6. But it’s not funny in Pitch Perfect. It’s actually quite stupid.
7. The cast of college students is way too old here. I guess they’re copying Grease in this aspect. Anna Kendrick (27 years old at the release of Pitch Perfect) and Skylar Astin (25 years old at the release) sure don’t look like college freshman. And it’s annoyingly cliché to know that these two are going to end up together right from the beginning.
8. Here’s a great observation of college life from the creators of Pitch Perfect. Freshman of Barden University feel it’s necessary to lug bags and bags and bags of stuffed animals to their dorm room. If I had a dime for every time I saw this on move-in day, I’d have no money.
9. Every freshman gets a rape whistle. Yeah, I doubt anyone will need that in a school where a cappella is accepted.
10. Something that Pitch Perfect does get right is that awkward moment when you meet your weird roommate for the first time.
At least Benji sort of gets that a cappella groups aren’t that cool, “Treblemakers. The rock stars of a cappella. The messiahs of Barden, well you know not including athletes, frat guys, or actual cool people.”
11. “Organized nerd singing. This is great!” I really thought Jesse was being sarcastic, you know since he called it ‘nerd singing’ but turns out he’s completely into it.
12. Speaking of Jesse, played by Skylar Astin, he’s the dude in the back from the Tony award-winning Spring Awakening! Pretty impressive.
13. As for Anna Kendrick, she was a young Tony award-nominee but let’s face it, she got her music fame by flipping cups…
14. Let me get this straight. Apparently Beca hasn’t been going to classes for a month plus she doesn’t have any friends, and to negotiate with her, her dad wants her to “get involved” and join clubs? How about getting your daughter to shape up and attend her classes? He even goes as far as to tell her if she simply “tries” then he’ll give her his blessing to quit college. Father of the year!
15. McLovin’ at the auditions, “This shit is real life.” No, this shit is the furthest away from real life as possible.
16. By my count, there are 33 people who auditions to join an a cappella group. At least they’re fairly accurate by the disappointing turnout.
17. But don’t forget about the late-comer, Beca! She reaches back into her bag of tricks to steal the show… by flipping some more cups!
18. Those a cappella groups sure do know how to throw a party! Outside on campus with a keg (though it’s never proven what’s in the keg, so I can only assume it’s a keg of Sunny D) and a lot of Solo cups. I’m so mad I couldn’t make that one! Though I wasn’t crying alone in my bedroom like Benji.
19. Arguably the worst joke of the entire movie: A toner is a musical boner.
20. During their first performance at a frat party, one guy says it perfectly, “This makes my beer taste bad.” Yes it does, bro. Yes it does.
21. Beca chooses a really strange time to mention her parents’ divorce. The writers seemed to randomly throw this story-line in.
22. “Not liking movies is like not liking puppies.” – Jesse. He’s right, and I love movies… good movies.
23. Not even halfway through the film and it’s unbearable to watch Anna Kendrick, who is a very good actress. If you want to see her give a good performance, watch Up in the Air.
24. The memorable Riff-Off scene takes place in an empty pool. I guess they’re not too worried about the constant reverb and echo while free-styling.
25. I don’t know about you guys, but that other acappella group sounded pretty damn good singing “Like a Virgin.” Too bad there isn’t enough room in the movie to throw in another a cappella group. What a shame.
26. I cannot stress enough how strange it would be to be walking around campus one night and witness four acapella groups participating in a riff-off. Yet, this is normal for Barden University.
27. It’s strange how much Pitch Perfect pays tribute to The Breakfast Club, a film taken place in high school, except it’s actually a good film about life from different people’s perspectives and backgrounds, while Pitch Perfect is about winning a singing competition.
28. Regionals. Then Semi-finals. Then Finals? To repeat myself, this is basically Glee without any teachers, gym coaches, or someone in a wheelchair.
29. The commentators give these statements, and I can’t help thinking it’s what would be said if audiences could comment during Pitch Perfect: “Refreshing yet displeasing to the eye.” and “… is like an elephant dart to the public’s face.” Indeed.
30. By the way, I’m pretty sure a $5 trophy can’t shatter glass like this.
31. Beca wants to “change the face of a cappella” by remixing and mashing up songs. How original.
32. You know what else isn’t funny, showing Rebel Wilson getting hit with a burrito.
33. If the Bellas and the Treblemakers really hate each other, why would they give the Bellas a ride after their bus breaks down? Sounds like an easy way to disqualify your foes to me.
34. Would the Bellas really place right behind the Footnoes at the Semi-Finals? Are there only three groups performing?
35. This was a real stupid way to show how the Footnotes lead singer was still in high school.
36. Why are the commentators the ones to deliver the news that the Footnotes are disqualified? And why do they visit the singer’s home? And why did his parents allow him to break these rules?
37. Let’s count all the times they say “Aca-something”! Ready?
When did this gag become funny? It never did.
38. And then there was this aca-awkward 40 second scene where Beca briefly confronts her dad about the divorce. Seriously, tell me how this divorce story-line is relevant at all.
39. Once again, puking in this movie isn’t funny.
40. But doing a vomit-angel totally is!
41. In the end, the Bellas kick ass and win the competition. Oh, and predictably enough Beca and Jesse kiss. All the thirteen-year-old girls can die happy now.
42. Listen, I have no problem with Pitch Perfect. It’s actually one of my guilty pleasure movies. Just don’t try to convince me that it’s actually a good film, because it’s obviously not. The only reason to watch this film is for the hot chicks.
Let’s see how Pitch Perfect 2 hold up. It should do quite well since the first one set the bar pretty damn low.