'Pitch Perfect' is a bit off key

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The comedy “Pitch Perfect” is ideally suited for anyone who was disappointed by “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” and longs for more a cappella. Based on the book by gay writer Mickey Rapkin, “Pitch Perfect” follows Beca (Anna Kendrick, who’s an excellent singer) and Jesse (Skylar Astin), both freshmen at Barden University. Beca wants to be a record producer, but her Barden professor father (out actor John Benjamin Hickey) wants her to get a college education first. Jesse, on the other hand, is determined to follow his dreams and join one of the campus a cappella groups.

Beca and Jesse cross paths a couple of times before officially meeting at the campus radio station, where they are both interning. Shortly thereafter, their paths cross again at the a cappella auditions. Jesse gets into the all-male Treblemakers, while Beca makes the cut for the all-female Bellas. Then the fun begins. 

As we follow the teams from the auditions and rehearsals through the regional, semi-final and final competitions, “Pitch Perfect” belts out almost every cliché in the teen movie songbook. From the silly and predictable song selections, to the trouncing of the mean girl (Anna Camp as Aubrey) and the triumphant rise of the overweight girl (Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy), “Pitch Perfect” is more than a little off-key. Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic jokes are interwoven with gross-out humor on a par with “Bridesmaids.”

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as the callous and colorful commentators Gail and John steal the show.

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