Really hard to enjoy, thanks to unlikeable main characters, uninteresting hijinks, and distasteful attempts at humour. It seems to be a problem in tone management though, because underneath its sickening candy comedy shell is a rather intriguing web of dark character drama (see the eating disorder cover-up, drug addiction, and tale of a suicide attempt). The overdose to ambulance ride sequence feels like it finds the right groove but it’s overshadowed by a shallow shrug-it-off ending.
The unexpected intro with “Toxic” followed by a big action movie “jump away from explosion” sequence is pretty fun, but the flashback story that follows mostly disappoints, with forced backstories (see dad issues x2), tired retreads of old plot lines (“It has to be a competition!”), and constant fishing for new filler (see the barely there romance and Bella baby). Amy’s still funny and the music’s still good though, so it remains decently engaging through to the nice wrap-up ending.
What the fuck’s up with the expository announcers? Asshole John is only countered by supposed straight-counterpart Gail half the time, so we’re left with a lot of just straight up offensive jokes in addition to the already strange amount of cultural stereotypes and fat phobia. The core of the film, fortunately, is just friendship, music, and montages, and it somehow manages to transcend its surface cheese to reach some pretty beautiful places (see the found sound around the fire, final song).
There are great moments of dark satire (see the training camp), but it’s the more intimate scenes (some funny, some poignant, some both) of developing relationships that carry the film–that of JoJo and Adolf (a quirky friendship gets ugly as JoJo grows–see Adolf’s anger in the kitchen), Elsa (McKenzie is excellent), and Rosie (see the riverside talk) respectively, and even that of Elsa and Rosie (see the cupboard convo). So the climactic battle felt out of place, but the dance after was perfect.
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride’s best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (IMDb)
The actual bridesmaids scenes are outrageously funny (see the shit-storm in the bridal boutique) thanks to some crazy characters (McCarthy’s Megan is a riot) and excellent cast chemistry (Wiig and Byrne’s rival friends especially; see their competing speeches) but it’s the surprising character work on the goofy yet melancholy Annie (Wiig is perfect; see her cop drive-bys) that elevates this comedy to another level, injecting some nice bits of drama and romance (O’Dowd is adorable) into the mix.
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. (IMDb)
The plot is a perfect parallel of any other competition-based storyline, so it’s pretty predictable, right down to its requisite romance, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t still a fun flick: Wilson’s Fat Amy is odd and hilarious and leads a great group of secondary characters (DeVine’s douche is another highlight) surrounding Kendrick’s music-mashing Beca, and the numerous a cappella numbers are excellent (keep an eye out for Kendrick’s impressive cup stacking solo song).