By Emily Rome
Updated September 26, 2012 at 01:00 PM EDT
  • Movie

Pitch Perfect, which starts hitting theaters this Friday before a wide release on Oct. 5, is the latest in a crop of girls-behaving-badly comedies. Among the ensemble cast is Up in the Air star Anna Kendrick, who plays Beca, a college freshman thrust in to competitive a cappella politics.

This exclusive video reveals how Beca gets involved with an all-girls a cappella group at the fictional Barden University. Kendrick shows off her singing skills, which she previously brought to the big screen in the indie musical Camp. Kendrick, co-star Skylar Astin, and director Jason Moore chime in about the DJ-turned-warbler character.

This video offers just a hint of the movie’s tug-of-war between old-fashioned and new, square and hip, as Beca tries to introduce recent hits into the Bellas’ repertoire. “There’s nothing from this century on here,” Beca complains when she sees a list of the group’s songs.

Ace of Base’s 1993 pop ditty “I Saw The Sign” ended up being the song that epitomized the Bellas’ drab old-fashioned ways. But an earlier draft of the script reached further back into music history for the group’s set lists. “The original old-fashioned song for the girls was [1954 song] ‘Mr. Sandman.’ Nobody in 2011 knows that song,” Moore told EW. “So we went back to the ’90s, when those kids would have been six. That’s how we ended up with Ace of Base — that was our version of a lame song, even though it’s kind of an awesome song.”

Though Pitch Perfect celebrates newer trends in music, anyone checking out the film is also in for some upbeat a cappella renditions of ’80s hits. Brace yourselves for some intense music battles where the weapons are Madonna and Simple Minds.

For more on the backstory behind the making of Pitch Perfect, check out this week’s issue of EW, on stands Friday, Sept. 28.

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Pitch Perfect

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 105 minutes
  • Jason Moore