'Pitch Perfect' is infectiously catchy

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Entertainment,Associated Press

Cheeky and snarky but with an infectious energy, "Pitch Perfect," a comedy set in the cutthroat world of competing college a cappella groups, makes us fall in love with the very thing it's making fun of. It's ridiculous and predictable but also just a ton of fun, so you may as well give up and give in to your inner musical theater geek.

The debut feature from director Jason Moore (Broadway's "Avenue Q") and writer Kay Cannon ("30 Rock"), based on the nonfiction book by Mickey Rapkin, feels like a mash-up of "Glee" and "Revenge of the Nerds."

And speaking of mash-ups, that's exactly the genre that forces the film's female singing group out of its comfort zone of conservative choreography and corny vocal arrangements. Their reluctant catalyst is Beca, an antisocial aspiring DJ played by Anna Kendrick.

On screen
'Pitch Perfect'
» Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars
» Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow
» Director: Jason moore
» Rated: PG-13 for sexual material, language and drug references
» Running time: 112 minutes

Freshman Beca is part of a ragtag class of recruits who join the Barden University Bellas, perky young ladies who dress like flight attendants, adhere to a rigid set of rules and have super-secret, sorority-style rituals. The Bellas' leader is the meticulous, tyrannical Aubrey (Anna Camp); a redheaded Brittany Snow is her flirty and more forward-thinking right-hand woman. It's their goal to knock off the school's rival guy group, the Treblemakers, and win the national championship.

John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (who's also a producer on the film) are hilarious as the broadcast team providing commentary at every stop along the way.

But the whole supporting cast is strong and well-chosen, with nearly every actor getting a chance to provide off-kilter comedy. An outrageous Rebel Wilson gets many of the film's crudest and best lines, while the wonderfully odd Hana Mae Lee steals her share of scenes in her own quiet way.

The movie as a whole is so irresistible, you may find yourself singing some of its insanely catchy tunes long afterward.

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