Out of the two films that you have never heard of that I saw this weekend PATTI CAKE$ is the one I recommend, but maybe wait for a rental. You probably have heard of this movie just forgot what it was called. It is about that plus sized blonde white trash girl that wants to make it with a rapping career. She is a bartender that does catering on the side and on the side of that tries to make good rap music with her pharmaseutical Indian friend and a really nice, kind black guy that also happens to worship the anti-Christ. While it falls into a lot of the tropes and cliches you’ve seen time and time again in a story like this (fairly close to 8 Mile), the movie is very enjoyable, inspirational, funny, heartfelt, that manages a few surprises kept out of the trailers.
And by surprises I mean the Indian friend and the really nice black guy that worships the anti-Christ. I think without those two characters, this movie wouldn’t have been so enjoyable. When they get together (and add Patti Cake$ grandma with a one word hilarious background drop) and form their rap group PBNJ, it feels like a real group coming together. And while the plot does go into a couple of cliches, I am glad it didn’t go the route of “she wants to break up from the group because she is more successfully individually.” The cliched parts come in the form of their rise, fall, and rise, and Patti Cake$’ mother being a has been washed up drunk as a skunk singer.
The acting does really bring the movie together. Everyone is excellent here, especially our main character. Without a top notch performance by her, everything could’ve been an epic fail, but Danielle MacDonald is wonderful in this. Her two friends and grandmother are good two, and even though the mother thing didn’t really work, Amy Shumer frequent collaborator Bridget Everett brought us a side to her we haven’t seen before, and pulled it off in spades.
The music is good, the characters are good, the story is good, so why am I not recommend seeing this in a theater? Well, theatrically, it isn’t worth your box office money. I would say this is THE perfect rental of 2017, but as for direction, shots, what have you, this really doesn’t need to be seen in a theater. Which is a little sad because everything else is there. Stylistically it copies 8 Mile, with some shaky cam work. The movie tries to dab it up with a few dream sequences, but honestly they could’ve been cut out and made the movie a bit tighter. I would totally watch this again, but wait to watch it on a smaller screen, because even though with the main character size doesn’t matter, smaller screen size = saving you more $.