Too cheap to see it in theaters and too impatient to wait for it to come out on Netflix On Demand, I streamed Pitch Perfect on my laptop at what might have been the lowest resolution in existence. As the movie progressed, I slowly realized that my friend’s frequent demands and mock whining about the slow internet connection would have probably been a better use of my theoretical $10.50. In the end we both agreed — the .gifs were better than the movie itself.
The characters felt kind of underdeveloped, their relationships flat and the dialogue forced. But I wasn’t irked so much by the fact that the movie was bad — I was more put off by two specific aspects of the movie. And those were the characters Cynthia Rose and Stacie, a.k.a. “The Predatory Lesbian” and “The Stupid Horny Girl With Big Boobs.”
Throughout the movie, Cynthia Rose and Stacie remain as background characters in the general plot and only step forward to portray themselves as living caricatures. Stacie is always grabbing her breasts, making seductive faces at the camera and using every dance move as an opportunity to give herself a full-body rub-down. In one scene wherein the characters are sharing confessions, she utters, “I’ll confess something. I have a lot of sex.” “Yeah, we know,” is the eye-rolling reply. Her response to this systematic devaluation of something she considers a secretive confession is a vapidly ignorant, “Only because I just told you so.”
Cynthia Rose, originally mistaken by the cast as a “dude” (and then referred to as “it” when revealing a feminine name), barely makes any noticeable appearances in the movie. The few times that Cynthia Rose is brought to center stage is when she’s expressing sexual interest towards Stacie. We see her interacting suggestively with the busty brunette in several scenes — one where she’s unsubtly checking out a mid-downward dog Stacie, another where she grinds on her during an acca-promptu rendition of Rihanna’s “S&M.” “Oh,” you think, “maybe the plot twist is going to be that they’re both lesbians, and they hook up with each other at the end! How predictable, yet progressive, of the screenwriters.”
Well Cynthia Rose must have been thinking the same thing as all of us here in the audience, because she makes the move anticipated. However, poor Stacie is, apparently for the first time ever, totally not DTF, and ends up frantically blowing her Barton University rape whistle while getting half-humped and fully groped by our aforementioned libidinous lesbian.
Well, shit. There goes years of fighting for equality, recognition and freedom from negative stereotyping.
How are we supposed to move past the Mean Girls-esque fear of lesbians scoping out straight girls in swimsuits when this movie tells us they’ll force themselves on the hottest girl on hand? How are we supposed to make curvy girls feel less like slabs of meat and more like people when this movie tells us that they have low IQs and 24/7 sex drives? Girls with big boobs will screw anything that moves, right? And lesbians will aggressively try and get in your pants whether or not you’re queer or interested, right?
People are people, not their stereotypes. But not everyone gets that. Some girls are still scared they’ll get their carpet munched while changing for PE. Dudes still think they’ll get their dicks sucked if you’re stacked a double-D. It is a shame that these assumptions already exist in our society, and tropes like the ones presented in Pitch Perfect sure as hell aren’t helping.
TANYA AZARI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.