Pitch Perfect Marks 10 Year Aca-Anniversary

Brittany Snow, Anna Kendrick, and Anna Camp in Pitch Perfect. Courtesy of Universal.

Pitch Perfect, a sleeper hit musical comedy, recently marked the tenth aca-anniversary of the film’s theatrical release in 2012.

I still remember the first time that I saw this film way just over a decade ago. It was the end of September 2012. I had already been a fan of Anna Kendrick as a result of Up in the Air and knew Brittany Snow from watching American Dreams on NBC. It should go without saying that I was definitely going to see this film because of Kay Cannon being the screenwriter. I wasn’t as familiar with Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, or Anna Camp at the time. Wilson delivered a breakout performance in the film. These days, you’d be surprise if you didn’t find Utkarsh Ambudkar appearing in a comedy film! Meanwhile, this film served as my introduction to Ben Platt’s musical genius.

Ten years later, it’s just as fun and entertaining to watch the film now as it was then. Between the high points and the low points, there’s never a dull moment in this one about the gritty world of college acapella competitions. Sure, there’s a few gross-out moments but they serve the story. If Aubrey Posen (Anna Camp) doesn’t have the first of these moments, Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) might not have become a Barden Bella. Similarly, without the second of these moments, it’s unlikely that the Barden Bellas would have gotten their national championship. But they did and it’s a credit to working together. Well, Beca also realized what she needed to do in order to grow as a person, too. When the film isn’t focused on competition, it’s focused on Beca’s budding romance with Jesse (Skylar Astin).

Anna Kendrick is pitch perfect for the role of Beca. What I love about the casting is the chemistry between her and Skylar Astin. Their relationship plays a big part of the film and if they didn’t have the chemistry, the film might have fallen apart. As a cinephile, one can’t help but identify with Jesse when he says he wants to be a film composer. Plus, it’s been great getting to watch Skylar Astin grow as an actor through his television work over the years, most recently in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

Most of the comic relief comes from acapella commentators John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden (Elizabeth Banks). I love that Gail puts John in his place when she calls him out for his sexism. I’m not sure how much of these bits were improvised or not but screenwriter Kay Cannon comes from a comedy background and knows where to find the right moments for comedy.

Pitch Perfect became the film that could. Produced on a $17 million budget, the film finished its run with just over $115 million at the box office. It would spawn two sequels and a Peacock spin-off series is on the way.

Pitch Perfect is still aca-exciting a decade after its release.

DIRECTOR: Jason Moore
CAST: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Ben Platt, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Michael Viruet, with John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks

Universal released Pitch Perfect in theaters on September 28, 2012. Grade: 5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.