Pitch Perfect

 
(i)

 

Edgy, teen-friendly musical comedy uplifts with song, heart.
  • Review Date: September 26, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Find your passion, and don't be afraid to take risks. Also: Open your heart to love, and it might find you. Joining groups may require you to overcome your skepticism and fears, but it may also lead you to even greater happiness.

Positive role models

Beca's individualistic streak extends to the rest of the Bellas in a positive way, though it does take them a while to learn how to be supportive of one another. Lots of emphasis on teamwork and how sometimes in the pursuit of the good of the team, a member has to be flexible and unselfish. Many jokes at the expense of the overweight, but the main overweight character also embraces her appearance to try to defuse bullying before it starts.

Violence

A melee breaks out -- though viewers don't really see any of the blows -- and a window winds up shattered. A sprinkling of verbal skirmishes, with name-calling.

Sex

Some kissing, plus plenty of sexual innuendoes about a few of the characters' sex lives. Some suggestive dancing during musical numbers. A couple's feet are shown sharing one shower, suggesting they're in the middle of intimate alone time. Characters use the word "slut" to refer to women who have non-serious sex partners.

Language

"Bitch" is frequent and casual (and "pitch," which sounds like it, is used as a stand-in). Also one "f--k," "s--t," "t--s," "slutbags," "ass," "crap," "hell," "d--k," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).

Consumerism

With so many Apple products everywhere, it might as well be an ad. Also: Ping, Mad Libs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some scenes at college parties show freshmen drinking beer (and whatever else) from tell-tale red cups. Drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pitch Perfect -- a winning musical comedy about a fiercely independent college student -- will give teens (and adults) plenty to like. Expect some strong language ("s--t," "bitch," "d--k," and one use of "f--k"), drug references, and underage drinking (though it's not heavily emphasized). There's also some kissing and lots of sexual innuendo and some sexual discussion, plus several jokes about a lesbian character's attraction to other women in the group. Although the young women portrayed here are, for the most part, strong and confident, sometimes a shaming word, "slut," is used to refer to them.

What's the story?

Beca (Anna Kendrick), an aspiring mixmaster/DJ, is a freshman at Barden University. Her father, a professor, won't let her drop out of college to move to Los Angeles and start her DJ-ing career without having her try college first. He ups the ante when he notices Beca spending more time in her dorm room than out on campus, attending classes and getting to know her peers. If she joins one group and gives it her all and still ends the year determined to move, he'll finance it himself. So off to the Bellas she goes; the Bellas, once an esteemed all-girl a cappella group, need new members. At the nationals the previous year, the now co-captain, Aubrey (Anna Camp), threw up onstage, ruining their chances. Then again, the Bellas have always played second fiddle to the Treblemakers, Barden's all-male group; the Bellas' repertoire is steeped in old songs, and they're stale. Beca thinks it's time to shake things up, and most everyone else agrees, but Aubrey is firmly in the skeptical camp. Can they make a comeback at this year's nationals? And can Beca keep her mind on the game when the Treblemakers' sweet and talented Jesse (Skylar Astin) is such a distraction?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Can we all give a hand for PITCH PERFECT? It's a joy to watch a comedy like this, which wraps you up in belly laughs and catchy songs and makes whatever ails you seem far, far away. Let's take it from the top: Kendrick is a delight. Not only can she act -- though we knew that already from the wonderful Up in the Air -- she can also sing! Plus, special kudos to Rebel Wilson, whose subversively awesome Fat Amy won't be forgotten anytime soon. In fact, all of the a cappella troupes assembled here (or the voices behind them) are awesome. Never mind that they're kitschy and earnest and seriously competitive about their craft (which, in some circles, is considered decidedly uncool). The beauty of it is they don't care; they just want to make music.

Pitch Perfect pokes fun at a cappella performers of all stripes, but mostly with lots of heart and pride. That said, sometimes the film can't quite seem to decide whether it champions young women (which on the whole, it appears to) or not. The fat jokes can be wince-inducing, though Wilson makes them work; the liberal use of the words "slut" and "bitch" to refer to women is also a concern. (Still, the most obvious misogynist does get called out, and in a delicious way.) It also relies a little too heavily on a gross-out vomit meme. These complaints aside, Pitch Perfect hits lots of the right notes and will leave you in stitches and singing long after the credits roll.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Beca seems so jaded when she first steps on campus. Is her position -- that she doesn't need to be in college to pursue her dream -- defensible?

  • Fat Amy calls herself "fat" as a way to get ahead of any possible bullying and because she's proud of herself just the way she is. What do you think of this approach? (Also, talk to your kids about bullying and how to handle it if it happens.)

  • Are college campuses really rife with this much competition among student groups? Are a cappella groups this cutthroat? What's the realistic take on this?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 28, 2012
DVD release date:December 18, 2012
Cast:Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Elizabeth Banks
Director:Jason Moore
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Musical
Topics:Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual material, language and drug references

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bywoodberries February 12, 2013
 

The most digusting PG13 I may have ever seen.

Children who see this will be learning many new ways to be immoral and vulgar and obsessed with sex. It's 90% about sex and 10% about relationships and singing. If you must see the musical performances I would avoid everything else. I can't imagine bringing my teens to this. My 10 year old would not understand all the references and would laugh at the repeated vomit scenes but the girl attacking another girl's private areas because she is a lesbian or a boy and girl in the shower talking to another girl in the shower..its' just not images I would want to expose her to. It's poorly written as well. I wish I could erase the vulgarity from my mind.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byyournameisroger March 6, 2014
 

Uncomfortable with topics & language for my kids

I've found the other reviews I've read to be very generous in their assessment that this movie is 'not that bad' and 'fine for kids 13 and under'. My daughter was upset with me because she's 'the only one' of her friends who haven't seen this movie. I watched this movie myself and the plot was good and the singing and all that, but overall I was shocked by some of the content- my daughter is 14 and I don't think this movie is appropriate for younger teens. I would feel uncomfortable watching this with my adult friends. Beside the language, which is a LOT, there is a significant amount of sexual dialogue - including a full discussion about which song is one character's 'lady jam' which she explains is the song she uses for masturbation. And then explains why. And this is a conversation she has naked with another naked girl, right after she is seen leaving a girls dorm shower stall with a boy. So ya, it just goes on like that. I guess you can ignore all of the sexual stuff like that (goes on throughout the movie) if you want, but I don't find it appropriate for my kids at all and I can't recommend it to parents because of the content.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 14 year old Written bygabrielleA November 5, 2012
 

give us some good role models with some morality, please?

do we really need our girls getting another incentive to have sex as much/often as possible? Really? I was so disappointed w/ the amt. of language & pimping up of the girls boob importance.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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