The holiday season often brings movies that are serious (Oscar contenders), awaited sequels (in a galaxy far, far away), and good-hearted silly films. Pitch Perfect 3 is the final chapter of the Bellas that fits in the latter. That is not to say is a bad film, in the contrary, it has many laugh-out-loud moments and musical scenes.
The Pitch Perfect trilogy is undoubtedly part of pop culture. Anna Kendrick (Beca Mitchell) and company have become pseudonyms with the world of Acapella. Everyone knows what it stands for and connect them to the tune of the cup song. This time around, the film follows the college winning Bellas who face real-world challenges: jobs, life aspirations, love and more.
Writer Kay Cannon continues the storyline in the trilogy but this time around brings in Mike White (HBO's 'Enlightened') to present the characters, and situations they get in, in a different light. Each character is given a bit of self-deprecating tone at the start that pushes them back together. The Bellas know they are happier when singing in the group but are finding it hard to grow apart from each other. In this post-college life, Beca and Patricia (aka "Fat Amy") are living together struggling to make ends meet. The rest are holding jobs that are less than pitch perfect.
Pitch Perfect 3 would be a hard sell without following the competition formula. As a fitting adieu, the Bellas sign up to perform around Europe for American troops, as a way to rekindle the group. The hook here is that DJ Khaled is following the groups in the lineup to choose one that will open his touring act. Cue the Riff-offs (singing other people's song without instruments) between the women and competing bands who are as good, if not better, than the acapella act. Therein the idea of self-confidence that the women lack but eventually find at the end.
The film is the last hurrah for the Bellas so at times the subplot rushes to tie loose ends or give unknown facts about other members. Beca has been the main character throughout but now audiences get a little more background story on everyone. Some are definitely included for comedic purposes such as Fat Amy's dad being a dangerous criminal (hilariously portrayed by John Lithgow). The same goes for a few scenes that are a-la-mission-impossible type. Comedy is served with some good timing and others not so. Of course, the best ones have to do with the Bellas performing pop music driven acts - the scene using 'Cheap Thrills' by Sia will be a favorite one.
Pitch Perfect 3 may not come across as the ultimate holiday film. And that is okay, it is a story that stands apart much like the women in the film. In the middle of very serious and enigmatic films is good to have a choice that is purely goofy, and fun to watch especially under 2 hours.