Pitch Perfect is a 2012 musical comedy film directed by Jason Moore. The screenplay was written by Kay Cannon, loosely adapted from the book of the same name by Mickey Rapkin. The film stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Ben Platt, and Adam DeVine.The story follows Beca Mitchel, an aspiring music producer who is forced to go to Barden University by her father, who is a teacher there. He agrees to fund Beca's move to L.A. if she agrees to give college a chance and join at least one club. She ends up joining the Barden Bellas, the school's all female a capella group. There, she is introduced to the world of collegiate a capella as the Bellas fight to defeat their all-male rival group, the Treblemakers.There is a sequel planned for 2015, with several of the previous cast members reprising their roles.Now has a Character Sheet under construction.
This film provides examples of:
A Cappella: Naturally. Lots of music without any musical accompaniment.
Black Dude Dies First: Well, kicked out of the band anyway. Kori, one of two black girls that passed the audition, was kicked out before even making it to day two for sleeping with a Treble. The second girl who was kicked out at least got a few lines before she was dumped.
Break the Cutie: Benji when he doesn't get into the Treblemakers and listens to their party and, surprisingly, Aubrey when she talks about her dad.
Brick Joke: The Barden rape whistle given to Beca in the first scene. Comes back when Cynthia Rose, the lesbian Bella, is wrestling with Stacie.
Call Back: You may have missed it, but when the Bellas find out they've got into the finals when Chloe walks in, Amy yells "Shalom!", which is, according to her, "not a word".
Aubrey's three-point "Reason You Suck" Speech to Beca after the semi-finals is reminiscent of the speech the Bellas' former leader gave Chloe at the beginning.
Bologna Barb is seen at the first Riff Off with the acapella group B.U. Harmonics
Casanova Wannabe: Bumper, in between insulting Fat Amy he still hints towards sex.
Cat Fight: After Beca leaves the group, this is what happens.
Celebrity Paradox: One of the other a cappella groups heard in the film is the real group Green Envy but Greg, one of the Trebles, was the musical director of this group during his time at college.
Cheaters Never Prosper: The group that won second place in the regional finals is later disqualified for having a high school student on their team, thus allowing the Bellas to make the finals.
Chekhov's Hobby: Beca's love of remixing songs and Lilly hanging-out in a beat-boxing crowd becomes useful in the finals.
Chekhov's Lecture: John's comment in the beginning that it's taken so long for all-girl a capella groups to make it because girls generally have difficulty hitting the bass notes. This stops being a problem for the Bellas after Chloe's surgery.
Control Freak: Aubrey fits this to a T. The film largely deconstructs this, showing how her Control Freak tendencies are a hindrance to the group's success, as her insistence on doing the same tired old numbers at every show causes the competition judges to turn against the Bellas. When she finally backs off at the end, the Bellas are a lot better for it.
Minor Injury Overreaction indeed. After being told she wouldn't be able to sing above G#—maybe, ever—she sang a high A and went five semitones up to D with no problems during the final number.
The fact Brittany Snow actually does have nodes may have contributed to the accurate portrayal of a singer with nodes, being one and all. Clearly, she can still sing. The 'overreaction' may have just been part of that: what is she without singing? Probably the same for Chloe, too.
Disability Superpower: A minor example. Chloe's vocal node surgery eliminates the top end of her range, but drastically expands the bottom end.
Double Entendre: If you look at the parallel scene in Lady Windermere's Fan to Chloe/Beca's interaction at Hood Night where Lord Darlington tells Lady Windermere (at the start of the play) he thinks they'll be "great friends" and then skip to where she tells him (upon seeing her husband the woman everyone believes he is having an affair with talking) "I want a friend tonight, Lord Darlington: I didn't know I would want one so soon." you can see what the admission at the start meant,i.e. LOVER. Can't we, Chloe?
Duet Bonding: Chloe sort of forces Beca into this by singing in the shower.
Establishing Character Moment: The entire first act showcases Beca's talent at creating mashups and remixes, which winds up becoming Chekhov's Hobby when Aubrey finally recognizes her talents and lets her write the Bellas' arrangement for the finals.
Fan Disservice: The Tone Hangers provide a creepy contrast to the young, sexy a capella groups.
Fiery Redhead: Mostly averted: Chloe is very sweet but has no problem attacking people when in a rage.
Foreshadowing: Most of Benji's scenes involve some kind of magic trick. Cue "I Got the Magic".
Subverted, really, because he only had one week to get down a lot of stuff, which becomes a lot easier once you only have to remember dance moves that you've probably already seen(remember he's at least heard the Treble's version), rather than an entire song.
The previous year's leader of the Bellas makes the unusual note that Chloe's breath smells like eggs all the time. Fitting for a bad enough infection in one's throat.
Averted with Beca's dismissal of how predictable movies' endings are which seems to be this but ultimately comes to nothing.
Luke airs Beca's 'Bulletproof' mix on the campus radio, later that night at regionals guess what song she chooses to break the Bella's routine.
French Maid: Well, maids in bikinis anyway. There are a couple of girls in revealing clothing rather unenthusiastically dusting the Treble's (frat?) house while they lounge in the hot tub.
Aubrey's father is hinted to be the reason she's such a Control Freak.
Fridge Brilliance: 'Bellas' means 'pretty girls' in Italian, probably intentional In-Universe, so Aubrey has reason to want "bikini-ready" girls, and Howie (of Sigma Beta Theta) would be "expecting the hot Bellas".
Funny Background Event: Not quite in the background, but right before the Bellas' initial performance, Chloe (after getting chewed out) surreptitiously checks her breath.
Gay Percentage: Fat Amy points out semi-correctly that since there's more than 10 Bellas, there has to be a lesbian.
Once Stacie starts doing provocative moves during auditions, Unicycle looked down to his pants and covered his crotch, apparently having a hard-on.
After scolding the Bellas about dating members of the Trebles, Aubrey openly said that they shouldn't allow the rival group to penetrate them. Amy calls her out on this.
When Gail commented that seeing the trebles perform freshens-up the downtown, John openly said "Can I help"?
Ghost Extras: Seven women on the poster, but there are ten Bellas. Lampshaded when Aubrey tells two Bellas that it was like they hadn't been there at all this year. (Jessica, Denise and Ashley are the ones not included on the poster.)
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Chloe and Aubrey are implied to be this to an extent, as they are the only seniors in the group and Chloe mentions being good friends with Aubrey for years. Things get tense near the end, but they work things out.
The Lancer: Played with. Chloe is officially the Number Two of the Bellas, while Beca, despite being The Hero, is the one who challenges Aubrey's leadership.
Letting Her Hair Down: This happens in the last performance. Towards the ending, Aubrey actually lets her hair down.
Logo Joke: The standard Universal fanfare is replaced with an a Capella version at the start of the film. This is not the only Universal film to do this. Coincidentally, one of the other ones to do this also has Anna Kendrick in it.
Love Triangle: Jesse seems to think he is in competition for Becca with the radio station manager despite the two having a fairly professional relationship.
Lovable Nerd: Benji made his half of the room into a Star Wars shrine, loves magic, and is a fawning Treble Makers fan.
Male Gaze: During the opening, the camera heavily focused on the Bellas' butt and legs during their performance. The previous leader is also seen stacking her boobs before said performance. There's also a lot of focus on Stacie and Aubrey's legs.
Nausea Fuel: In-Universe example - when Aubrey's sick for the first time there is a cut scene to two of the older Bellas holding their mouths like they're about to throw up at seeing someone else do so.
New Parent Nomenclature Problem: While we never see Becca and her stepmother interact, Becca is obviously resentful since she calls her "the step-monster."
One of the Trebles is listed as Unicycle in the credits. Although he only has two lines in the final cut and is only named in deleted scenes, he carries a unicycle with him everywhere but the ICCA performances, so it's pretty obvious who it is (not to mention the 'fro).
Punny Name: Most of the a capella groups who aren't the Bellas: Treblemakers (trouble makers), High Notes (they like marijuana) Sockapella (they sing with sock puppets), and Minstrel Cycle are just a few.
Putting the Band Back Together: After the Bellas learn that the team that qualified for Finals ahead of them was disqualified for cheating, we get a montage of the various singers getting contacted, and brief glimpses into whatever they are up to (including Fat Amy having a pool party with several hunks).
Reality Ensues: Beca tries to spice up the tired routine mid-performance - the audience picks up on her attempt, but it's also perceived as an unpolished stunt, and it throws the other girls off their game.
While not as blatant as Stacie, Chloe has no problems hooking up with two different guys. She's also very fond of Beca.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Aubrey gives the girls one after an embarrassing performance in front of a fraternity. She gets one herself later.
Rebel Wilson does Something Funny: Room was left for Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine to do a lot of improv, which most of their interactions ultimately are. The rest of the cast, though, did have some freedom with their lines: just see the aca-inappropriate outtakes. Notably, Skylar Astin added a bunch of lines during song performances to the point they were expected and a lot made it into the film.
Performed to the T as Anna Camp and Brittany Snow can be heard corpsing at the mermaid dancing, and Camp nearly does at the horizontal running (though it's not unbelievable that anyone would laugh, in the situations).
Several of the girls at several different points in the movie are seen fluffing their breasts. Sometimes it seems to be for empowerment, sometimes to win over the crowd, but it is always appreciated.
Serenade Your Lover: Beca pulls off the Group version of this, by working Don't You Forget About Me into the Bellas' Finals performance.
Earlier, Jesse does this to her during the Riff Off with Feels Like the First Time in that he somewhat sings it towards her. She cuts him off with No Diggity.
Also, some would argue that Beca and Chloe/Aubrey singing Just the way you are and Just a dream is this, and maybe a Call Back to the Jesse/ Beca moment.
Serious Business: A capella. Very much so. Aubrey in particular takes the whole thing WAY too seriously.
She's Got Legs: Stacy frequently shows her nice pair by constantly wearing short-shorts. The Training Montage shows that Aubrey has a nice pair as well. Fortunately, the movie poster (see the page image) was generous and displayed them front-and-center.
Possibly to High School Musical. The audition scene is reminiscent of the play auditions from HSM.
The introduction for the Trebles at the Regional competition is ripped directly out of Bandslam.
The "Party in the USA" scene is very reminiscent of the "Tiny Dancer" scene in Almost Famous, and every other film where they 'forcibly' drag someone into an activity they secretly love and end up bonding over...
"Don't you forget about me" seems to have remarkable relationship-affirming powers, the ending basically being that of Easy A, where we have the Other Tucker wooing, weirdly, Skeeter Phelan with it.
There seems to be an acapella group at the Finals whose entire theme is Arrested Development - note the song choice ("The Final Countdown") and their khaki/Hawaiian shirt outfits.
Shower Of Love: When Beca goes to take a shower in the girl's locker room, two pairs of feet, belonging to a man and a woman, can be seen in a shower stall. The girl in question is Chloe, and this is the only way we know that she's not solely into Beca.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Between Bumper and Fat Amy. We certainly see the "slap slap" part of the equation on screen, but the kiss is alluded to when Amy reveals she has Bumper's cell number but can't provide a reason for having it.
The "Songs about Sex" portion of the Riff-Off has this vibe going between the Bellas and the Treblemakers.
Stress Vomit: Aubrey throws up over the entire audience during a group performance. Later on she does it again as part of a particular hilarious argument.
Take That: At Glee, of all things, and delivered by Christopher Mintz-Plasse during the first audition scene.
Tommy: But if you think this is just some high school club where you can sing and dance your way through any social issue or confused sexuality, you have come to the wrong place. There is none of that here. That's high school. This shit is real life. NOW. don't just bring it, sing it, and let's do this.
Twice, even. During the Riff-Off, one of the categories on the wheel is "Songs Ruined by Glee".
And of course, the "discovering in the shower" scene, taken waaaay over the top by Chloe.
Interestingly, Skylar Astin (Jesse) later guest starred in an episode of Glee, "City of Angels".
Technician Versus Performer: This is a conflict between Aubrey and Beca. Beca simply wants to be spontaneous and have fun by remixing songs while Aubrey is trying to be successful using their original set list from the previous year and being conservative. To be fair to each Beca is actually into producing music and therefore is naturally gifted at remixing while Aubrey was originally more of a performer but after throwing up on stage is trying to play it conservative.
Subverted: when the Bellas are revealing their secrets, Cynthia admits that she has a gambling addiction that arose after she broke up with her girlfriend (who is apparently one of the other Bellas). She was never keeping her lesbianism a secret.
Gail: I remember singing it with my own a capella group.
John: What group was that, Gail?
Gail: The Minstrel Cycles.
John: Well, that's an unfortunate name.
The Unreveal: Parodied. During the 'confessions' scene, Cynthia Rose is expected to come out as a lesbian, only to admit to having a gambling problem...which she developed after she broke up with her girlfriend.
Verbal Tic: Aubrey has a habit of adding "aca" in front of words, such as "aca-awesome", "aca-people", "aca-bitches", etc. The others pick up the habit as well.
Vocal Dissonance: After Chloe gets her nodes removed, she (a former soprano) is able to hit the really low, guttural bass notes, much to everyone's surprise.