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May 28, 2017

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'Pitch Perfect' is infectiously catchy

It's their goal to knock off the school's rival guy group, the Treblemakers, and win the national championship. John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (who's also a producer on the film) are hilarious as the broadcast team providing inane, slightly naughty commentary at every stop along the way. Their bits feel natural, unpredictable and ad-libbed, like something out of a Christopher Guest mockumentary.

But the whole supporting cast is strong and well-chosen, with nearly every actor getting a chance to provide off-kilter comedy. An outrageous Rebel Wilson, who was so great last year as Kristen Wiig's roommate in "Bridesmaids" — and whose character here nicknamed herself "Fat Amy" — gets many of the film's crudest and best lines, while the wonderfully odd Hana Mae Lee steals her share of scenes in her own quiet way.

Skylar Astin has a confident, easygoing manner as the Treblemaker member who dares to engage Beca romantically (despite a temporary and contrived hitch, you know where their relationship is going), while comedian Adam DeVine is perfect as the arrogant idiot named Bumper who runs the guy group. If this were a Greek fraternity, he'd be the dude doing keg stands. (And while we're on the subject of adolescent antics, a recurring projectile-vomit joke was unnecessary even the first time. "Pitch Perfect" seems too sharp for that.)

Still, the movie as a whole is so irresistible, you may find yourself singing some of its insanely catchy tunes — like Ace of Base's "The Sign," which is so evil and is used so often, it becomes a major plot point — long afterward. ■

'Pitch Perfect' (歌喉讚) ► Directed by Jason Moore / With Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson / Comedy, Music / 2012 / USA / 112 min / English with Chinese subtitles / Now Showing / ★★★★☆

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