At a US college, Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick are among the misfit new singers for Anna Camp’s female a cappella group.
Combining the tuneful underdog triumphs of Glee with the sassiness of Bridesmaids, this is a sweet-sounding, wickedly funny movie.
The setting is fictional Barden University, where The Bellas routinely get upstaged by their cocky all-male rivals, The Treblemakers.
Following an embarrassing, morale-sapping episode of projectile vomiting at the national college singing finals, sole remaining Bellas Aubrey (Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) manage to recruit a bunch of new members, a misfit batch including brash Tasmanian Fat Amy (Wilson), sex-mad Stacie (Alexis Knapp) and moody wannabe DJ Beca, the film’s focal character, played by the reliably brilliant Kendrick.
Will this oddball group come together? Will uptight Aubrey control her gag reflex? And will Beca succeed in persuading Aubrey to ditch the Bellas’ prim uniforms and twee musical routines in time for the next finals?
If the plot sounds predictable, don’t worry. The quirky characters and witty script hit all the right notes. Wilson’s sassy outsider is the film’s standout, while John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks provide droll cameos as the commentating duo at the finals.
As for the music, the best numbers – including a feisty riff-off between The Bellas and The Treblemakers in an empty swimming pool – are snappy, bright and infectiously entertaining.