*YouTube has just informed me it's spelled "Beca" but I already wrote the rest of this post, so today we spell it my way.
Overall, there was nothing super shocking or unexpected, and that was good. Less one subplot, it was pretty much the type of story I'd write, predictable in a "this is what would be nice to have as canon, so let's make sure we make it happen on film" way. Best of all, I enjoyed nearly all the music in context, even though there was definitely an overload of medleys vs. straight covers. I also loved the sheer number of musical numbers. Oh god, I missed this in ways I didn't even realize. It was all the joy and fun of a new Glee episode with none of the emotional torture or awful-character rage. ...I mean, there was some, but it was much less than the amount on Glee.
Some things I loved:
- Becca and her internship, especially her succeeding at that internship! (mostly, except where needed for a good obstacle. I really liked how that phone message started.)
- Chloe failing 3 years in a row because the Bellas are her life
and her parents are apparently super-rich
- DSM and their thrilling/terrifying German Reich persona, onstage and off. I couldn't decide if I was awed or terrified every time they performed like a trained army of singing androids. Or German Vocal Adrenaline, basically. I'm pretty sure Vocal Adrenaline's original coach was either trained by them or left to go coach them.
- No vomit. NONE AT ALL.
- The backstory of the club having been 2x National Champions while they were away from our screens
- Comic Duo Elizabeth Banks & Walking Book of Clueless Misogynist Cliches. Those two are the best.
- Where Aubrey ended up working
- I cried when they did the "Cups" reprise
- The pacing of senior year, and what a great ode this movie was to college friendships
- THE RIFF-OFF. SO GLORIOUS.
- THE GREEN BAY PACKERS PORTION OF THE RIFF-OFF.
- Benji having a super adorable puppy-love crush and tripping all over his feet and tongue while attempting to impress her. He's like Neville Longbottom, Cute Version. I also liked Jesse's friendly "don't mind him" smile and reassurance while pulling him away from the confused and weirded-out freshman. WHAT A GOOD SCHOOL AMBASSADOR.
- Emily "Legacy" Junk being like the angelic version of her Begin Again character, which was really quite refreshing for me. She also reminded me of a slightly more outgoing Marley Rose where better things happened to her in the glee club & first boyfriend departments.
- The entire Benji/Emily subplot was pretty cute. I will reference it in rage later, but I want you to know I was genuinely delighted by it on its own merit. I especially like the 3-year age difference, usually significant in college, being reduced to irrelevance by virtue of his sheer endearing dorkiness. Plus now he totally has an excuse to reap the benefits of college without any of the homework for the next 3 years.
- Emily's mom being Katey Sagal
- The "Cups" reprise, especially in context.
- "Crazy Youngsters," especially the beautiful way it played over the end and made me cry. The internet says it's an original, so MUSIC LIST IT IS.
- The opening medley (I hummed "It's going down, I'm yelling timber," for days afterward, thrilled to have it rescued from its origins by Ke$ha & Someone Worse Than Ke$ha.)
- The various riff-off medleys (condense to one long song on the soundtrack), with particular highlights for: Live Like You Were Dying, Before He Cheats, DSM's RIDICULOUS/AWESOME "Insane in de Brain," A Thousand Miles (WHY WASN'T THERE MORE OF THAT) ONE), and the Packers flawlessly pulling off "Booty-licious."
- Basically any words sung in a ridiculous German accent, especially from hip-hop (Side note: oh god, I might have to give Glee's cover of "The Thong Song" a chance to redeem itself after this.)
- The multi-nationality, multi-language "Any Way You Want It" cover.
- DSM's World Championship performance, which was by far the most thrilling/terrifying thing of all. I particularly liked the excellent use of my favorite line in hip-hop, "ALL I DO IS WIN WIN WIN...", juxtaposed beautifully with what I'm pretty sure was a coded war chant, "light them up up up."
- The Bellas' ending performance. If you didn't feel tears and/or chills you are wrong.
Warning: from this point forward I will be whining about one thing a lot.
- Who was asking for an Amy/Bumper subplot? Bring your entire flagship and supporting territories here for immediate disciplinary action.
- WHERE WAS JESSE.
WHY WERE JESSE AND BECCA NOT MAKING OUT A LOT.OK, that was not my original request. And to be fair, I am very glad you let them be together this whole time and not have had an off-screen breakup at any point, but I think I would have preferred a getting-back-together A plot to having them reduced to a C-plot in favor of shining a flashlight on B-list pairing Benji/Emily and F-list Bumper/Amy.
- Also DID YOU SERIOUSLY THROW OVER A POTENTIAL HURT/COMFORT SCENE SO BECCA COULD TALK OUT HER FEELINGS WITH FAT AMY INSTEAD.
- BECAUSE THAT IS FAR WORSE THAN LETTING AMY AND BUMPER MAKE OUT ON SCREEN.
- And it means we need to have a serious talk about when it is not okay to favor female friendship over heterosexual relationships. It's not hard. 99% of the time it's going to be when the couple is likable, emotionally good for each other and pretty, and at least one of the friends is neither likable nor attractive.
- I think this is my seventh bullet point and fourth day of thinking about the insufficient amount of Jesse/Becca screen time and I'M STILL MAD.
- I honestly think Becca made more sexually confused comments to the German android than she exchanged complete face-to-face sentences with Jesse.
*No, I know movies focus on this all the time and there aren't enough movies that focus on girls and female relationships. Normally, this would be a fantastic accomplishment. But HERE IS THE THING, it is super rare to cast two equally attractive and likable people in a starring relationship. Hollywood's so bad at this. John Krasinski and Orlando Bloom have been undermined so many times in films with otherwise great potential. This is the second film in which Anna has scored a love interest of equal caliber only to have insufficient screen time with him. It's a sore spot with me.
P.S. #2: I browsed around Tumblr, and while kicking aside the slash blogs my blacklist terms haven't pre-screened, I repeatedly saw the phrase "cut Jesse storyline" from shippers in my kingdom, and I am torn with curiousity. Is it worse to know or not know at this point?
P.S. #3 I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this old Bustle article I turned up theorizing how their relationship would be handled in the sequel:
There’s always the option of Pitch Perfect maintaining its focus on friendship and acapella performances, leaving Jesse and Beca’s relationship entirely in the background. Of course we’ll still get to follow the Barden Bellas and the [Treblemakers] through the eyes of Jesse and Beca, but their romance could remain solid rather than being a source of some of the film’s conflict. That would be a long shot.
Apparently the only actual long shot was following the Treblemakers. "You got to sing at an assembly AND briefly participate in an underground riff-off, what more do you want??"