"Patti Cake$ has a lot to offer; there is a lot of charm and emotion here that you’ll forget about the unoriginality of it all"
Underdog tales are always extremely popular with cinematic audiences. We love to watch someone make it, pulling through against the grain in order to triumph. Someone who beats the odds and gains the awe of the audience in mountains of jubilation. From Rocky to Mighty Ducks, anything that sees misfits triumph against adversity just gets excited. If you’re a fan of these types of films, then you’ll absolutely love Patti Cake$.
Patti Cake$ revolves around Patricia, a young woman in New Jersey who is also a wannabe rap-star. Working several jobs and collecting welfare checks for her alcoholic mother, Patricia spends her nights at clubs and rap battles whilst wistfully dreaming of making it as a hip hop superstar. When she discovers metal guitarist Basterd with her friend Jheri, the trio form a fantastic band that could send them off into the stratosphere.
Directed by Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$ is your typical underdog story. It hits all the right notes. The rhythm and the rhyme flow exactly how you predict, never wavering too much into anything different. This familiarity can dull your enjoyment. It’s never as fresh as it wants to be. There is also an element of cultural appropriation with Patricia being a white woman wishing to get into rap. This is addresses in the film, and it is tricky to shake when the movie begins. However, when you realise her backstory and the strike she goes through, you can understand somewhat why she gravitates to this type of music.
That being said, Patti Cake$ has a lot to offer; there is a lot of charm and emotion here that you’ll forget about the unoriginality of it all. Lead actress Danielle Macdonald is terrific as the titular character, portraying the downtrodden future star as well as the girl dealing with a world against her. She is impossible not to like and Macdonald has charisma to boot. Alongside her, Cathy Moriarty, Bridget Everett, and Mamoudou Athie all complete the film as supporting characters, filling the film with life and entertainment.
As a plus sized woman, it is fantastic to see a protagonist on screen that is full of talent, hard-working in her determination and passion, and is also treated like a sexual being. It’s tricky because there are the fat jokes in it and it would be nice to finally have a movie where a larger woman doesn’t have to bear to brunt of humiliation. That being said, a championing film for us bigger ladies, Patti$ Cakes is very inspirational.
Jasper directs with a close indie feel and the tunes are terrific too. It’ll be a long time until you get the eponymous PBNJ track from your mind. There’s enough emotion here to leave you teary-eyed by the conclusion and shots of the New York skyline fill the screen with hope and possibility. With a terrific lead, Patti$ Cakes is a must-see feel good film.