First Hit: The upside was the music the downside was the comedy, which was sophomoric, staged, and unnecessary.
I’m not much for musical films but when done right as part of the plot it can be good. The singing here was very strong and some of the representations of current and older songs were fun to hear. Unfortunately the part of the plot that didn’t work was the staged comedy scenes.
Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) rowing across the lake, Fat Amy hanging from the middle of the stage and her costume rips. Yes the screenwriters and director used this to push the plot in a particular direction but the women in the film are too old and too smart for this sort of plot.
The only actress that seemed to fit age wise for college was Emily (Hailee Steinfeld). Beca (Anna Kendrick) sang well but I couldn’t help but think she wasn’t really interested in the role. The silly scenes of her being pulled up into a tree on the retreat or her unintelligent comebacks to Chloe (competitor lead singer) weren’t in-line with her, the depth of her character or the film.
Kendrick is a very strong singer and it is unfortunate that the screenplay had her underplay her skills. Wilson is hard to watch. Her voice is mediocre compared to the rest of the cast (occasionally flat or sharp) and having her be the brunt of the humor because of her size is type casting and unfortunate. Steinfeld was good and seemed to be the only person who was age appropriate for the part. Kay Cannon and Mickey Rapkin wrote a very poor script and the story they created to put the Bella team into a situation where they had to sing well to get their reputation back, was lame. Director Elizabeth Banks didn’t make this film stand out but she wasn’t given much of a script to work with.
Overall: This film probably didn’t need to be made and there better not be another.