'Pitch Perfect 2' Is An Aca-Awesome Example Of Feminism For 7 Reasons & Way More Than Just A "Chick Flick"
It's been a long wait, but Pitch Perfect 2 finally hit theaters on Friday, May 15. The sequel to the original aca-awesome Pitch Perfect had a lot to live up to and it definitely didn't disappoint. Along with the original Barden Bellas' return, the film added Hailee Steinfeld (who did a stellar job portraying new "legacy" Bella, Emily Junk) to its fabric, along with cameos by Katey Sagal, and a particularly hilarious performance by Key & Peele's Keegan Michael-Key as an irreverently cutthroat record producer. Another facet of the film that was carried over from its predecessor was its continued message of "girl power," and feminist components that prove Pitch Perfect 2 to be way more than just a "chick flick."
There are plenty of romantic — albeit, hilarious — story arcs weaved throughout the film's fabric, but rather than take a hackneyed approach to any of these storylines, the movie doesn't veer from centering on the strong, empowering females at its helm. Moreover, tropes and gender-based stereotypes are both put into plain sight during the film in a way that showcases just how absurd said tropes and stereotypes are. For example, during one scene with returning commentators Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), John attempts to ameliorate the Bellas' upset over being suspended by saying, "Don't worry, you're all going to get pregnant soon anyway." This archaic — and indescribably outrageous — sentiment is met with slackened jaws to further drive home the message of the ridiculousness of misogyny. Other than pointing out stereotypes and turning them on their proverbial heads, there are several moments throughout the film that serve as empowering examples of feminism. Let's take a look, shall we?
The Film Doesn't Cater To A One-Size-Fits-All Mentality
Rebel Wilson (who portrays Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect 2) has been one actress at the helm of eschewing previous "one-size-fits-all" ideals in Hollywood. She's one of the film's standouts and rightly so. Along with Wilson, the entire ensemble is diverse, pushing back against tropes that women must be a certain size, certain ethnicity, and what have you to garner the title of "leading lady."
The Film Centers On Women & Ambition In The Workplace
Beca Mitchell's (Anna Kendrick) ambitions to become a music producer are carried over into the sequel as she pursues an internship at a recording studio. Even as she suffers a setback in pride and tenacity when she is told her demos don't offer the "originality" needed to succeed in the music industry, we see Beca's resilience showcased as she ultimately takes the constructive criticism as a way to push harder and persevere. There are other moments where the Bellas talk about their futures and aspirations in the working world that offer accolades to gender not being a prerequisite to any type of career pursuit.
The Film Also Showcases The Importance Of Choice
One integral element of feminism is the power of choice. If your pursuits include becoming successful within a career of your choosing, your gender should not cause any hindrance in that pursuit. Conversely, if you have always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, that dream should also be celebrated and attainable. Finally, if you want to be a working mother and wife, or any combination of facets, that should be your choice without barriers that are related to your gender. During one scene in Pitch Perfect 2, the Bellas talk about their futures, and their pursuits include a collection of those that are professional as well as romantic. There aren't any judgements or comments made that deem one path superior to the other. Equality and choice #FTW — am I right??
Romantic Entanglements Aren't Frowned Upon
The double standard of a man being able to "hook up" without judgement while a woman doing it deems them one of many derogatory titles is nonexistent in the film. If anything, there is nary a raised eyebrow when it comes to one of the character's personal life — which is just how it should be.
Yes, Women Can Be Funny
I don't know where the old "women can't be funny" stereotype originated from, but let's throw that old adage away (if it hasn't already been properly dismantled) pronto. Yes, women can be funny. In fact, we can be pretty freaking hysterical, if I do say so myself.
Women Can Carry A Film, No Probs
This is not to discredit the males featured in this film — far from it! The men of Pitch Perfect 2 are all aca-awesome, but — just as several films feature a male ensemble which serve to carry the feature and plot lines — Pitch Perfect 2 is centered on its female ensemble, and it's pretty much "girl power" all the way. Bravo, ladies!
Most Of The Male Characters Are Pro-Feminism
Other than the aforementioned chauvinist commentator, John, the male leads of Pitch Perfect 2 exhibit traits of pro-feminism. We see the male leads being supportive of the Bellas and any of their ladyloves' pursuits, and even when competition is a factor in interactions, gender is decidedly not. And that's pretty aca-mazing to see.
Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy (7)