Today has been the most terrible day.  I could vent and whine and tell you all about it, but instead, I’m going to stick with my original plan and tell you about something even better: Pitch Perfect 2.

Allison and I went on Thursday night and, since I loved the first so much, I wanted to talk about it.  Spoilers incoming.

From the first number, it was clear: these Bellas were a professional group of artists.  Or as professional as any group that contains someone called “Fat Amy” can be.  It also showed how high they had climbed and, by the end of the song, how far they had to fall.  This problem and their ultimatum from the association set the movie up nicely with higher stakes than the first one.  In Pitch Perfect, they just wanted to win and had to learn to work together.  But in this movie, their main concern was keeping the Bellas together, literally and figuratively.

After beating them at Lincoln Center, the Treblemakers are no longer the Bellas’ archenemies.  They have new competition: Das Sound Machine.  Their performances are theatrical and loud, and even the people are bigger than Beca.  But theirs an even bigger problem the girls have to worry about: their future is right around the corner, since the Bellas are seniors.  Beca splits her time between the Bellas and her new internship at a music studio.  Meanwhile, there’s a freshman Bella who has to figure out how she fits into the existing team that’s trying not to fall apart.

The story itself is perfect for a sequel: it follows the same theme but makes it bigger and throws in new problems.  In the first movie, the girls had to build a team from the ground up.  In this one, they had to figure out how to remain a team with the threat of dissolution.  But it also fits perfectly to the characters.  Chloe still believes the Bellas and singing are everything, Beca still keeps people at a distance even as she’s trying to be better about it, and Fat Amy is just as wild and crazy as before.  Even Jesse and Aubrey, who’s parts are not as big as the others, perfectly combine their central characteristics and the growth they saw in the first movie.

And of course, the music is so central to the story and characters.  It combines all of what we loved in the first movie (even bringing us a new Riff Off!) with the ups and downs of the new story.  The first time new Bella Emily tries to sing with the group, she stumbles.  When the group tries to imitate Das Sound Machine, they realize it isn’t for them.  And when they finally rediscover their sound, its the “Cups” song we all know and love from the original.

Of course, the final number was amazing, both visually and musically, and was a very satisfying ending that solved the main problem of the movie.  Which wasn’t actually the need to win so they could remain a team, but figuring out what being a sisterhood would  mean when they moved away from it.

I loved it, and I was so happy to see the girls I fell in love with a few years ago growing up and staying strong.  I bought the soundtrack.  And listening to it and realizing even Beca Mitchell doesn’t have her shit all together makes me feel way better about today.

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