This movie is a lot of fun! It’s very funny, the musical numbers are fantastic, and I love how enthusiastic everyone is about belting tunes out all the time! It’s totally nerdy but in an empowering, “we’re-not-embarassed-that-we-love-music” kind of way. As one character says in a completely serious tone, “Organized nerd-singing–this is great!” Some of the jokes are sexually suggestive/explicit, so it’s not really appropriate for a high school or below audience, but it’s set on a college campus and it’s not surprising that college kids would talk about sex. And I appreciated that this movie didn’t feel the need to show anyone having it.
The story follows rival a cappella groups competing at the collegiate level, but focuses most on a young wanna-be DJ, Beca, who is very concerned with maintaining an “I’m not like everybody else” image. She joins the Barton Belles partly because she does, secretly, love music, partly because they’re desperate the recruit new members, and partly because her dad promises to help her pursue her true dream of moving to L.A. if she will spend a year really trying to get involved on campus.
I won’t spoil the ins-and-outs of the competition, but Beca is forced to confront and change the way she has been emotionally isolating herself, start to reconcile with her dad and make some real friends. The story isn’t the forefront, since the emphasis is on the singing first of all, and the jokes second, but I think there is real character growth from the surly, eye-rolling girl who checks into her dorm at the beginning and the one who smiles broadly from genuine enjoyment while she sings with her now-friends by the end. Also, the leader of Beca’s group is a control freak, and must learn by the end to let everyone’s input be heard, and to not prioritize winning over relishing the music and the act of singing together itself.
Those are good, healthy messages, although there aren’t necessarily scriptural references to go with them. There are a lot of verses about singing and praising God, and while this movie definitely wasn’t singing praise songs, it reminded me how much I love singing, and I think God likes to watch humans throw their whole hearts into their using their talents and pursuing their passions the way these characters do.
When I walked out of the theater from Pitch Perfect, I just wanted to walk around singing all night. I think David must have surely felt the same way, when he wrote this passage:
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.