“Oh right, this is a thing now,” Beca (Anna Kendrick) says to the heads of fictional Barden University’s all-female a cappella group in an early scene in the new movie "Pitch Perfect."
And judging by the fact that a cappella is the subject of a film starring an Academy Award nominee, it seems she’s right.
A cappella has been growing in popularity since the debut of "Glee" three years ago, and collegiate a cappella gained recognition on NBC’s "The Sing Off," a competition show that made several college groups famous nationwide.
Pitch Perfect, based loosely on a book by the same title, follows Barden University’s Bellas as they aim to reach the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (known as ICCA, and a real competition), and feud with the university’s all-male a cappella group, The Treblemakers, along the way. It highlights the competition, cult mindset, and crazy personalities that are found in collegiate a cappella, and has no lack of, to use the film’s phrase, “acapolitics.”
Filmed at Louisiana State University, the film focuses on Beca, a freshman who dreams of moving to Los Angeles to become a music producer, but whose dad insists she joins a campus group. When a member of the Bellas hears Beca singing in the shower, an understandably awkward encounter, she convinces Beca to audition. Soon, Beca is one among a rag-tag group of new Bellas, including Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), the big but confident singer from Tasmania who coins a new a cappella term when she tells the Treblemakers the Bellas are going to "pitch slap" them.