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Token Gay of the Day: Cynthia Rose in “Pitch Perfect”

Token Gay of the Day: Cynthia Rose in “Pitch Perfect”

I liked “Pitch Perfect”. I must have watched the Bellas final performance a couple of dozen times on YouTube. But the film is not without its faults. I understand why so many mainstream films have an attractive straight white male and female as their romantic leads (Anna Kendrick’s character is notionally unconventional, but hardly strays far from the mould). But if this is the formula, it is always disappointing when the secondary characters are equally cliché.

Rebel Wilson is hilarious in the film, but I could never get fully on board with a character that is so defined by her weight she is known as Fat Amy. And then there is Cynthia Rose. Another fine example of the kill-two-birds-with-one-stone minority, this black lesbian character offers little to proceedings other than being the a capella group’s resident rapper (oh, how original) and constantly shouldering jokes about her supposed lesbianism (which is treated, albeit jokingly, as something of a threat).
Even the punchline is bizarrely fumbled. Her “coming out” speech turns out to be about a gambling problem, yet she still confirms she is a lesbian (just to be sure that box remains ticked?).
I’m not going to ease up on my YouTube spins, but to paraphrase (forgive me) Fat Amy – lesbi-honest, Cynthia Rose deserved better.

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