Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 115 Minutes
Released: 2015
Director: Elizabeth Banks
 

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

This film does a good job of fostering “girl power” and including a diverse group of positive female characters in the storyline. However, the film’s use of satire complicates its attempt to subvert tired stereotypes regarding gender, race, and sexual orientation.

Summary:

After an a cappella group, the Barden Bellas, are suspended from performing in the Aca-Circuit, they take on the challenge of competing in an international competition to regain their status as performers.


Ratings

Language: poopoo

  • Demeaning language- “freak,” “stupid girl,” “tramps,” “dutchbags,” “shit,” “hard-on,” “dicks,” “troll,” “dumbest person alive,” “hell”
  • Threatening language- “die bitches, die”

Violence: N/A

  • Slapstick humor

Sex:poopoo

  • Quick visual of Fat Amy’s naked buttocks
  • Kissing
  • Kissing while rolling on the ground
  • Multiple sexual innuendos

Drugs and Alcohol:poo

  • Drinking what appears to be alcohol at a party

Cultural Analysis

Pros:

Gender:

  • Most of the major and minor characters in the film are women. This is important because women often play stereotypical or insignificant roles in the media.
  • Becca challenges traditional stereotypes regarding femininity. For example, she is creative, independent, and talented as she works hard in the hopes of becoming a music producer.
  • The film challenges traditional stereotypes regarding masculinity by showing men participating in a cappella and dancing, which has been stereotyped as a traditionally feminine activity in the media.
  • Gender satire (see talking point below).

Race:

  • There are many minor characters of color. For example, the Barden Bellas are a racially diverse group, and the record producer is of color.
  • Racial/ethnic satire and humor regarding nationality (see talking point below).

Sexual Orientation:

  • Cynthia-Rose is a self-identified lesbian and is depicted as a good character. This is significant because lesbian identities, especially lesbians of color, are not generally depicted in mainstream media.

Disability: N/A

Body:

  • Fat Amy is fat-bodied and is depicted as a good character. For example, she is caring, funny, and an essential member of the Barden Bellas. She also embraces her fatness and does not wish to conform to body ideals. Additionally, Fat Amy is considered beautiful and desirable which is significant because oftentimes fat-bodied people are considered undesirable by the media.
  • Various body types are shown in the film.

 

Cons:

Gender:

  • The male gaze is present during a slow motion pillow fight with the female characters.
  • Gender satire (see talking point below).

Race:

  • The majority of the main characters appear to be white.
  • Racial/ethnic satire and humor regarding nationality (see talking point below).

Sexual Orientation:

  • The majority of the characters appear to be heterosexual.
  • In the attempt to portray a lesbian character, the film over emphasizes Cynthia-Rose’s sexual drive but does not develop other dimensions of her character.

Disability:

Body:

  • Fat Amy is fat-bodied and is depicted as grotesque. For example, she farts, poops, and has a wardrobe malfunction that exposes her genitals. This is problematic because Fat Amy’s grotesqueness and fat body are used for comedic purposes.
  • At one point, Stacie says she will “do whoever it takes to get [the Bellas] to the top.” This is problematic because it suggests that women can use their bodies and sexuality to manipulate others.

 

Suggested talking points

  • This film regularly uses satire in an attempt to challenge stereotypes regarding cultural identities (especially gender and race). While the use of satire can be a very effective means for subverting stereotypes (and thus can be considered a “pro”), satire can also reinforce stereotypes for audience members (and thus can be considered a “con”). For example, various characters express many stereotypes regarding race. At one point in the film, a commentator, John, jokes about Flo being from Mexico and border hopping. (Flo is from Guatemala.) Once corrected, he goes on to say “Mexico, Guatemala, none of that matters.” This is an example of stereotyping. However, it is important to note that this was intended to be satirical. Additionally, Flo conforms to stereotypes regarding Latinos as she remarks that she had “diarrhea for seven years” when she lived in Guatemala and that she “will get deported” from the U.S. Also, a few characters conform to racial stereotypes. For example, Lily conforms to the “quiet Asian” stereotype as she rarely speaks, and when she does, she speaks softly.
  • A male character asks Fat Amy if she would “like to have sex later” to which Fat Amy replies with mixed signals. Fat Amy says “no” and then she winks and says “100% no” and winks again at the male character. This is problematic because it blurs the lines of sexual consent.

Image: Impawards.com
Keywords: Pitch Perfect 2, gender, race, diverse, 2 paws, two paws, female director, women director, pg-13, movie, movie review, singing, music,

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