PATTI CAKE$ Review

By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic

Las Vegas Informer

Bridget Everett is sensational and Danielle Macdonald secures her place in Hollywood movies.

It sounds like a movie you have no interest in seeing. You heard its about a fat chick named Patty (Danielle Macdonald) who lives in the rundown, neglected, tree-less part of New Jersey with her raunchy mother Barb (Bridget Everett) and sick grandmother Nana (Cathy Moriarty), and works as a bartender in the only bar whose patrons are homeless. Patty fantasizes about being a rapper with her Indian friend Hareesh (Siddharth Dhananjay).

Go see Patti Cake$. It is terrific.

Patty Dombrowski, rapper name “Killa P”, is her family’s sole provider. When Nana gets sick and bills must be paid, Barb informs Patty that she either has to work longer hours at the bar or get a second job. Meanwhile, former singer Barb is over-weight and only interested in booze, TV and getting laid. Knowing her daughter wants to be in show business rapping, Barb is always wobbling out random parts of her heyday, basement-playing songs. To be fair, Barb and her band did produce an album in their day.

Unable to exercise their evolutionary gains by annihilation of those deemed less fortunate by violence, the guys in Patty’s neighborhood who are corner rappers shout out their nickname for her, “Dumbo”, overtime they see her.

Do your ears stick out, do you have acne, are your legs too short, flat-chested, wear glasses, look under-nourished, keep your mouth open when you eat? Children, teenagers and hillbilly New Jersey twenty-somethings can zone right into whatever trait you are lacking. Unfortunately, eventually these people have to get low-paying jobs and kiss everybody’s ass.

Patty takes it in stride. She finally says, after being called  “Dumbo” one too many times, “I hate that name.” A fellow rapper who engages Patty in a rap battle, calls her “a white Precious.”

Naw. Precious was morbidly obese. Just so you know: Class lll Obesity now has been given sub-categories: Severe Obesity, Morbid Obesity and Super Obese.

Patty spends her time writing rap lyrics and practicing with Hareesh. Taking Nana on a wheelchair outing in a park, Patty finds a mysterious black guy, Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), who lives in a rundown, abandoned hut cluttered with musical recording equipment.

Patty refuses to accept his monosyllabic responses and with Nana and Hareesh, asks Basterd to record them.

With Basterd’s beats, they finally record enough material for a CD. When her second job with a catering company lands a job at rap god O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah) mansion, Patty decides to give O-Z the CD.

You know there will be a big rap competition to come and director-writer Geremy Jasper delivers the goods.

Danielle Macdonald, an Austrialian actress is perfect. What makes her Patty so wonderful is her resilient attitude, regardless of the name-calling, her disadvantaged home-life, her weight, and few career opportunities, she doesn’t let anything stand in her way. She believes in herself and this is what makes her a champion. It is also very touching.

Now Bridget Everett! I happened to see Everett in some comedy special. She was outrageous! A lot heavier, she flaunted her underwear-free, low-cut mini-dress and had a provocative set entirely her own. Everett challenged her audience with her full-blown sexuality. She may have flashed a man in the audience.

Cathy Moriarty hasn’t stopped working (according to imdb) since her iconic role as Vickie La Motta. Now, of course, the hell with an iconic role, everyone working in films wants a franchise. Moriarty was lucky to have her first film be the Martin Scorsese masterpiece, RAGING BULL (1980). And to be 20 years old and beautiful when it premiered! From Vickie to Nana – it looks like it was a really rough road.

Add a name to my list of actors and actresses who had one iconic role and then vanished (or continued but in less prestigious roles), such as: Keir Dullea (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY), Gary Lockwood (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY), Isabella Rossellini (BLUE VELVET), Shelley Duvall (THE SHINING), Tom Hulce (AMADEUS) and the current holder for the title, George Lazenby (ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE) and so forth and so on.

This is Geremy Jasper’s first feature film as a director and feature film screenwriter. It is an outstanding debut.

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/.

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at victoria.alexander.lv@gmail.com.

1.00 avg. rating (52% score) - 1 vote

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