I may be about 6 years behind the ball on this but I urge you to remember the tortoise and the hare? Don’t give up on me yet.. I am still on the move. Slow and steady but I get there…. Sometimes.
This weekend I watched PP1. How did this film slip under my radar? Well yes I heard about it but you know: teen movie, too silly, tasteless fluff and all that. It was not until a few weeks ago when an adorable 9 year old girl demonstrated the cup song to me that it finally occurred to me to actually watch the movie. She showed me the YouTube video of the cup song and I am still humming it all these days later. Stop reading this and go watch it right now if you have not yet seen it. It is considerably more extensive than the movie version and guaranteed to get under your skin. Okay are you back. Have you tried doing it ? Unless you are as adept as my 9 year old friend it is going to take considerable practice.
It took me another month to sit down and watch the actual movie but the deed is done and here is my list.
1. A cast of odd, not entirely Hollywood types characters.
How refreshing to see people who have a slight chance of being you or me. Well yes they do all have whiter than white teeth and none of them appear to have stained clothes or lumpy waistlines or mismatched socks. But at least the glamor level is a little lower than usual.
2. The songs
They are great, aren’t they? Songs like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” Pat Benatar’s great song from 1980, written by Canadian Eddie Schwartz. Or “Don’t you Forget About Me” from the Breakfast Club ( see # 8). Or “Bruno Mars sweet anthem, “Just the Way you are” that they mashed up with “Just a Dream” by Nelly to keep it from getting too sappy.
3. The arrangements.
Who figures out those complicated multilayered arrangements? Since they have to manage without drums and lead guitar they put in all these bom bom boms and do-whaps and whoop de doos. It is amazing how all those kind of silly parts come together into a dynamic song. It turns out that Acappella music was originally used in religious music, such as Gregorian Chants because many Christians cite bible verses that show that instruments should not be used in church. But it has come a long way since the monks!
4. The riff off.
Let’s stop right here for a moment. Fast Forward and let’s watch this again. Categories: Girls of the 80’s. “Oh Mickey You’re so Fine.” Sex. Rihanna’s “S+M” “Cuz I may be bad but I’m Perfectly Good at it”. They better have a Riff off in Pitch Perfect 2. This way of passing the time beats hanging out anytime!
5. The album cover flirtation in the recording studio. How cute is that? Holding up a cover and mimicking the expression. Remember how in the days gone by people used to get together and dress in costume and pose… This is the modern version of that!
6. The judges commentary. John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. What is it with these two? They are droll and consistently funny without trying too hard but it slowly heats up until that great zinger about his being a misogynist. Yes! and then at the end when she is strumming his leg.
7. Rebel Wilson. Need I say more? Australian. I hope they give that terrific actress more to do in the next one. Her delivery was impeccable, her lines the funniest and boy can she sing and dance.
8. Gentle love story via The Breakfast Club
Ahhh. A whole new generation will be turned on by this great movie. Does it still relate?
9. The Cup Song
I already told you how much I love this song. “Cups” is a version of the 1931 song “When I’m Gone“. The Carter family started way back and made great old time country music (well I guess it was contemporary when they started).
And of course, June Carter-Cash came out of that performing family.
Who comes up with these things? Like when the Treblemakers are all instruments in the finale or the frenetic energy of the Bella’s performance at the end when the finally let loose. They are moving, together and separately, and miraculously they are singing at the same time.
An aside: One thing I did not like about Pitch Perfect 1: the extensive vomit scenes. I suppose we were not meant to like it and it was aiming at young people . Do they really like that stuff? Or is that for the 10 year old boys who delight in all bodily functions.? Okay we will not let a little yellow liquid detract from the whole.
Feel free to add your input to my list. Anything I missed?