Australian Council on Children and the Media

Pitch Perfect

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15, (Sexual references and lack of interest for younger viewers)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Pitch Perfect
  • a review of Pitch Perfect completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 December 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to sexual references and lack of interest
Children 13-14 parental guidance recommended due to sexual references and lack of interest
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Pitch Perfect
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references and coarse language
Length 112 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a freshman at Barden University who’d rather be making a career as a DJ than studying. She’s at university because her father, Dr. Mitchell (John Benjamin Hickey) a professor, insists she at least gives at a go. He also persuades her to join in college life as she is quite reluctant to do so. She therefore joins the Barden Bellas, a female a cappella group, who performed disastrously at the previous year’s finals. She 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 and insists on maintaining the rather dull routine of perfectly matched uniforms and pop songs. Beca also meets Jesse (Skylar Astin) one of the Treble Makers with whom they are forbidden to have relationships. Beca sets out to turn the Barden Bellas around and lead them to a winning performance.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • 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 and she thinks she’s been shot.
  • After Aubrey vomits on the floor, a fight breaks out among the girls.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

As well as the above-mentioned violent scenes, children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by a scene in which Aubrey is sick all over the floor at a practice, one of the girls falls in it then they all start to fight, slipping in the vomit.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by above mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes and by Lilly’s statement that she loves to set fire to things and that she ate her twin in the womb.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple laptops

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • When Beca takes a part time job in a music studio she is told that no sex is allowed on the desk.
  • One of the rules of joining the Barden Bellas is never to have sex with a Treble Maker and some of the Barden Bellas are put out of the group for having sex with a Treble Maker.
  • Reference is made to a ‘sexy, fat arse’.
  • Boys discuss which of the girls would be easiest to sleep with.
  • Songs about sex
  • One of the Barden Bellas states how she loves sex.
  • One of the members of the Barden Bellas is a lesbian.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A girl is seen wearing a see-through t-shirt clearly showing her breasts.
  • A girl and a boy are seen in a shower together though behind the curtains.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • ‘Fat Amy’ says that sometimes she thinks of doing crystal meth but then thinks better not.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh God
  • bitch
  • shit
  • dick
  • screw it
  • Jesus Christ
  • crap
  • Name calling such as ‘nerd alert’, ‘garbage’, ‘dirt balls’, and ‘slut’.

In a nutshell

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, with some violence, sexual references and language which make it unsuitable for under 13s. It also lacks interest for younger viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that you need to open out to people to find love and acceptance and also to follow your passions.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Teamwork and co-operation.
  • Overcoming selfish desires.

 This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Making fun of fat people can be hurtful but Amy confronts this by laughing at herself. In this way she fends off criticism – could this be a good way to stand up to bullies?

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