Songs in ‘Pitch Perfect’ easily entertain, but plot feels empty

Anna Kendrick (center) in ‘Pitch Perfect.’ Rated PG-13, 112 min. Universal Pictures, 2012.

Into the school-singing fray inspired by “Glee” comes “Pitch Perfect,” a musical comedy about college a cappella groups that goes by in an enjoyable breeze, yet has all the weight of a feather. Screenwriter Kay Cannon and director Jason Moore mix in a little conflict between group members, a star-crossed-lovers plot, and some “Bridesmaids”-esque gross-out humor, and not all of it works.

Luckily, the bulk of the movie centers on the songs, and those scenes play the best. Freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a wannabe DJ who arranges and mashes up songs, bringing a fresh spark to the uptight Barden Bellas with her catchy and sometimes surprising tune combinations. Controlling Bellas ice queen Aubrey is inhabited well by Anna Camp, and her sidekick Chloe is played by
Brittany Snow. Adding more irreverent humor is offbeat wildcard Rebel Wilson, as the self-nicknamed “Fat Amy.”

Beca’s predictable romance with Jesse (Skylar Astin) – of rival group the Treblemakers – fizzles, while Adam DeVine brings some attitude as the group’s cocky frontman. Kendrick plays Beca as smart and sarcastic, which is refreshing for a female lead in what is essentially a romantic comedy with a musical kick.

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