Pitch Perfect 2
Church choir people make good music nerds.
We realize how much hard work it is to maintain really fine harmonies,
and to memorize music. Never mind
the dancing. Most of us
Presbyterians have a hard time with the idea of taking a tambourine and keeping
a beat while we’re singing the anthem, much less trying to move our feet at
the same time. But we can appreciate
how difficult it is.
There’s a lot of talent to enjoy in ‘Pitch Perfect 2” (just like
there was in the original). These
women can both sing and dance, and even at the same time.
The story is a little lame, but then, it’s just an excuse for the
musical performances, anyway, kind of like “Glee Goes To College.”
OK, what plot there is: sorority
singing group is suspended for a performance that brought embarrassment to the
school, and told they are forbidden to compete in the national a cappella
competition. OK, they can still go
to the worlds in Copenhagen, but they’re disbanded permanently unless they
actually can win it.
The girls are disappointed, of course, but several of the Seniors think
that it may be time to think about life after college, anyway—including Beca
(the ageless wonder Anna Kendrick), their primary arranger.
The group seems just about ready to disband, when they find new energy
from a freshman “legacy,” Emily (the terminally cute Hailee Steinfeld).
Still, they struggle to “find their harmony” again, until they all go
out on---a camping trip! Yeah, it
sounds hackneyed, but around the campfire cooking marshmallows they have some
great bonding moments, and tell the truth about themselves in a way that they
were afraid to do before. Now that
the sisterhood is strengthened, they can go about the business of winning the
little bits of humor and irony are a nice offset---Beca’s character finds
herself being attracted to the lead singer of their big rival group, which
effectively deflects her attempted intimidation.
The competition commentator, played with a straight face by John Michael
Higgins, gets to spout some deliciously politically-incorrect lines.
But basically this is a chick flick, and the men are just ancillary,
anyway. No doubt the audience will
be primarily female, as well---but we church choir nerds can still appreciate
the musicality here. It’s not
“churchy,” or even “religious,” but it is well-rehearsed,
well-presented, and easy on the ears.
Questions for Discussion:
you been part of a group that got in trouble for inadvertently embarrassing the
institution it represented? What
were the consequences?
Have you been part of a group that faced
disciplinary action? If so, did the
experience negatively affect the group, or eventually make it stronger?
When has a camping/retreat setting been
rejuvenating for you? When has it
not, and what was the difference in the circumstances?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen is the
Supply Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Kaufman, Texas