You might think of a trip to catch Pitch Perfect 2 as a relaxing, fun excursion into the crazy shenanigans of Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, and the Barden Bellas. But one U.S. mom found a way to turn it into a case study for social commentary — sex, gender rights, body weight, race — for her teenage son.
Indeed, according to The Independent, Glennon Doyle Melton, who runs U.S. parenting website, Momastery, would only allow her son to watch Pitch Perfect 2 on the condition that he write a two-page essay on the movie’s key social messages.
Not just a verbal suggestion either; she drew up a written contract for her son, listing out the themes she wanted discussed in the essay.
As Melton posted on her Facebook page, which also has a picture of the hand-written contract.
“I was out of town last week and Chase wanted to see Pitch Perfect 2 with his friends. I had time to do a little research but not a ton, and for many reasons it seemed like the right thing to let him go. So I texted him a picture of this contract I wrote up and made him agree to it before he went to the movie.”
Here is a typed out version of Chase’s Picture Perfect 2 contract:
You may see Pitch Perfect 2 under these conditions: By Wednesday you will deliver to me a 2 page essay which will be your response to the movie. Your response will answer the following questions:
1. What is this movie’s message about sex?
2. What is this movie’s message about women’s bodies? (In particular about being overweight? Are any of these messages sexist?)
3. Is there any racism in this movie? What scenes?
4. Are there any messages in this movie about love, friendships, or careers that are positive?
5. Would you recommend this movie to your sisters? Why or why not?
So, you can see this movie- but only as a critic, not as a blind consumer. You in?
For Chase, We Pray.”
Surprisingly, Chase agreed to go along with Mom and turned in his two page-essay on Picture Perfect 2 as requested. Melton didn’t include her son’s response, but she seems satisfied with the exercise.
“It started some cool family conversations,” as she revealed on her Facebook page.
Melton thinks it may very well be too much, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t do it again.
“I’m just a little much and everyone who lives with me has surrendered to it. At least we’re talking, right? Just got to keep talking. Awkwardly, horribly, angrily, barely ever, whatever – just don’t stop.”
To be fair, Melton may not be too far off track here. Pitch Perfect 2 may very well be exactly about those social themes that she wants her son to explore — as producer Elizabeth Banks explains here.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]