Mangirling is a semi-regular feature that runs when the girls are too busy (lazy) to write their own posts, or when Johnny Rico feels the need to yell at the internet about something inconsequential. Read on for this week’s rant, The Internet is Wrong: A Hater’s Review of “Pitch Perfect 2”.
Allow me to take you back to Saturday, September 6th, 2008. I was in Calgary playing ball, camping, eating, and partying during a slow pitch tournament when someone came up with the bright idea of going to a sushi restaurant for dinner. I lost my sushi virginity that night to Sushi Ichiban Japanese Restaurant (4014 MacLeod Trail SE Calgary, AB) and have been in love ever since. I’d been hearing about sushi prior to actually going. At first I dismissed sushi as weird Asian craziness, but as friend after friend fell to sushi’s mysterious embrace I had no choice but to take my turn at the table. I distinctly remember nervously ordering salmon and tuna sashimi. I knew this was no time for baby steps… I had to jump into the pool with both feet. Who knew a chunk of raw fish dunked into some soy sauce was so delicious? I mean, besides every hip person in North America and a billion Asians. Aside from them I was on the cutting edge, the very vanguard, of sushi culture and acceptance.
I bring this up because the original Pitch Perfect (2012) was the movie version of trying a new food as an adult. At first it was easy to dismiss a movie about women singing a cappella as frivolous idiocy, but as time went on you started to hear more and more good things about this movie. Surprisingly good reviews and word of mouth spread slowly, and eventually I took the plunge and went to a cheap theater on cheap movie night (those still exist) and saw it. Freaking magical. The movie was funny, light hearted, and just simply delightful.
Which brings us to 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2. The reviews I read (deadspin, grantland, Edmonton Sun) were tepidly negative, so when I invited myself into a group that was going to an afternoon showing I was a little nervous I was going to be wasting my time and precious Scene points. In the internet’s rush to be cynical page view grabbers, I feel like we’re starting to miss the point.
Pitch Perfect 2 is EXACTLY what it should be. The songs are enjoyably mashed up, the jokes are cute and quick, Fat Amy is a crass shithead, and there are thinly veiled static characters dancing along blissfully unaware of stereotypes. Yes, the plot is kind of stupid, but who cares? The Bellas winning the college a cappella championship means exactly the same to me as The Bellas winning the world a cappella championship. Neither event means a thing to me. Do you know why? Because the movie isn’t about those championships, they’re mostly irrelevant plot points to get us from cute song to simplistic joke to amusing stereotype.
Enjoy the movie for what it is, which is exactly what it set out to be. Just like the second plate of sushi set out to be exactly the same as your first piece of sushi, even if you didn’t walk into the second place and get surprised by how good everything was.
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