Before making his film directorial debut with Pitch Perfect, Jason Moore cut his teeth on Broadway as resident director for Les Misérable, and as much as I'm a fan of Schönberh and Boublil's acclaimed work, it doesn't half put you through the mill with its incessant onslaught of melodrama and never-ending roll-call of audition songs. It's something of a relief then to find a musical such as Pitch Perfect, that whips through a variety of multi-genre songs that individually never outstay their welcome, and comprising a plot so ultra-lo-cal as to merely serve as dramatic interludes between the numbers. I know that sounds derogatory but it really isn't meant to be. Aspiring DJ Beca Mitchell (Kendrick) would rather create mash-ups on her Mac than attend college, however, on joining the University's all-female a cappella group the Barden Bellas - building up a new team from scratch comprising 'alternative' but talented misfits as the trope goes - she finds a movement that addresses her musical sensibilities as well as her social insecurities as well as a token boyf along the way in the form of rival group member Jesse Swanson (Astin). What Pitch Perfect lacks in substance, it makes up in polished (über-produced and mimed) performance with a roster of song-types that feel at once cohesive and multi-demographic-appealing without the "everything and see what sticks" mentality. There's a limit, as talented as Rebel Wilson undoubtedly is, to how many fat jokes one can - or indeed feel one should - laugh at, and there are too many gags that lack the strength of their conviction, but there are some gems too - Hana Mae Lee's Lilly Onakuramara - a Bella member who's perpetually barely audible - is a gift that keeps on giving, and Kendrick is, as ever, a great joy to watch. For all its faults, Pitch Perfect is just the kind of fluff that's an easy and engaging watch without the taxation or trauma.