Movies often look for TV for inspiration, whether we’re talking remakes or spin-offs.
is neither - but this all-singing, all-dancing college-bound musical comedy clearly owes a hefty debt to overwrought TV dramedy
That’s not a huge surprise, considering its creators: director Jason Moore has helmed more than a handful of primetime soapers (
One Tree Hill
), and writer Kay Cannon’s day gig is
So, it not only looks like
, it’s paced like
, and if you could smell it, it would reek of whatever
That’s really the only bad news, though.
The good news is, it’s much funnier and meaner than the show that influenced it; and if you squint a little, it’s basically an all-girl remake of
Revenge Of The Nerds
Real-life Tony winner Anna Kendrick toplines as a snippy, eye-rolling wannabe record producer who joins a hapless all-girl a cappella group at her college.
Their ragtag crew includes a pushy alpha-blonde (Anna Camp), an Asian serial killer (maybe), a black lesbian and ‘Fat Amy’ (
’ irrepressible Rebel Wilson, who steals every scene she’s in).
They are, naturally, the underdogs, and through your standard young adult struggles, they learn to work together and become a crackerjack force of vocal fury, as evidenced by the furious (for an a cappella competition, anyway),
Bring It On
Although it takes fitful stabs at social relevance and tearjerkery, at heart
is teenage wish-fulfilment candy floss, with no nutritional value to speak of.
Still, it’s wrapped in a shiny, eye-pleasing package, and unlike its increasingly cloying forebear
, almost impossible to hate. Ironically, given its title, the film’s tone often wobbles uneasily between heartfelt and snarky but, overall, it’s a satisfying, and occasionally even fist-pumping, tribute to the enduring spirit of misfits and weirdos.