Sunday, November 18, 2012

Girl vs. Girl: "Pitch Perfect" (video)

Amber Dorrian and Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;

In one of the best pop films of the year, it's "Beca" (Anna Kendrick) versus the World. Until college and her professor father nudge her into expanding her horizons beyond beats and DJing, she's the lovable indie alt grrl. How is she converted to befriending females and getting out of her shell?  That is the central conceit of the movie -- acapella renditions of very cool songs. This would be a disaster if the music weren't so good. But behind the shiny songs and unreal (unrehearsed) performances that take place spontaneously throughout the story at Riff Offs and elsewhere is a very real story about what it's like among women, our separation, cattiness, and constant counterproductive competition. 

Drill Sgt. Aubrey (
Thank you Nazi Aubrey (Anna Camp), super-sexy "Stacie" (Alexis Knapp), supermodel "Kimmy Jin" (Jinhee Joung), hilarious comedienne "Fat Amy" (Rebel Wilson), freaky-geek Quiet "Lilly" (Hana Mae Lee), and uber-nemesis "Bumper" (Adam DeVine). There's lesbianism (very jokey), there's misogyny, there's promiscuity, there are jerk adults (color commentators "Gail" and John), there are dance offs, and there is that one eternal truth secretly brewing underneath it all, covert competition in a gynocentric cooperative frame. The movie is not all good news; it is almost ruined by the syrupy "good guy" male lead "Jesse" (Loser). Fortunately other men, like "Bumper" and "Donald" (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and "Benji" (Ben Platt), round out the cast, all straight, all acapella. More

NOTE: This review and focus on a commercial success was written under duress after Wisdom Quarterly staff were forced to watch the movie three times by Features Editor Ashley ("Aubrey") Wells, who seemed to be experiencing some kind of enlightening experience or catharsis from the story. Who knows why the Dharma Editor allowed except that he liked the movie, too. It does grow on a person and is not bad but only compared to Hollywood's ordinary output. It has legs; it came in eighth place in the Top Ten this week.

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