Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a freshman at Barden University, but she would rather be working as a DJ than studying. She’s at university because her father, Dr Mitchell (John Benjamin Hickey), insists that she gives it a go. He also persuades her to join in college life although she’s very reluctant. She joins the Barden Bellas, a female a cappella group who performed disastrously at the previous year’s finals. Beca also discovers the Treble Makers, a male a cappella group and the Barden Bellas’ fierce rivals.
Beca quickly learns that Aubrey, the leader of the Barden Bellas, always gets what she wants. Aubrey insists on sticking with the dull routine of perfectly matched uniforms and pop songs. Beca also meets Jesse (Skylar Astin), one of the Treble Makers. The Barden Bellas aren’t allowed to have relationships with the Treble Makers. Beca sets out to turn the Barden Bellas around and lead them to a winning performance.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
None of concern
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
There is some violence in this movie. For example:
- A fight breaks out between two competing groups, and Beca punches a man in the face. ‘Fat Amy’ (Rebel Wilson) then kicks him in the groin.
- Bumper (Adam DeVine), the leader of the Treble Makers, throws food all over Amy from a passing car. She thinks she’s been shot.
- After Aubrey vomits on the floor, a fight breaks out among the girls.
Content that may disturb children
As well as the violent scenes mentioned above, children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by a scene in which Aubrey is sick all over the floor. One of the girls falls in the vomit then they all start to fight, slipping in the vomit.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above. They might also be disturbed when Lilly says that she loves to set fire to things and that she ate her twin in the womb.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
This movie has some sexual references. For example:
- When Beca takes a part-time job in a music studio, she’s told that there is no sex allowed on the desk.
- One of the rules of joining the Barden Bellas is never to have sex with a Treble Maker. Some of the Barden Bellas are put out of the group for breaking this rule.
- A character talks about a ‘sexy, fat’ bottom.
- Boys talk about which of the girls would be easiest to sleep with.
- There are songs about sex.
- One of the Barden Bellas says how she loves sex.
- One of the members of the Barden Bellas is a lesbian.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie has references to substance use. For example, Fat Amy says that sometimes she thinks of doing crystal meth but then thinks she’d better not.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A girl wears a see-through top that clearly shows her breasts.
- A scene shows a girl and a boy in a shower together behind the curtains.
This movie shows Apple laptops.
There is some coarse language in this movie.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Pitch Perfect is a light-hearted musical comedy with quite a few laughs and plenty of good music and dancing. It will appeal to the teenage and young adult market. Its violence, sexual references and language make it unsuitable for children under 13 years, however. It also lacks interest for younger viewers.
The main messages from this movie are that you need to open up to people to find love and acceptance and to follow your passions.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include teamwork, cooperation, generosity and selflessness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as what you can do when people make fun of you. For example, Amy confronts this situation by laughing at herself. Could this be a good way to stand up to bullies?