I’ll admit one of the only reasons I decided to watch Patti Cake$ was because I saw that it played at the Sundance Film Festival and part of me is a movie snob that thinks film festival movies are better than most. In any case, Patti Cake$ is about a young woman trying to make it as a rapper with some help from the unconventional members of her group. You may be thinking to yourself, “Great, another one of those movies, that doesn’t sound very original.” Don’t think that to yourself yet though because I’m here to tell you how this movie keeps it fresh and exciting.
The first thing it does well, and it better for being a movie about rapping, is the music. Patti is a fantastic rapper and the songs were catchy. I had some of them stuck in my head the next day and I had to YouTube them when I got home. I particularly loved how authentic it felt to watch them create some of the songs. They’d start it up with a sick beat then spitball around some lyrics until they found a chorus then built the rest of the lyrics up around that. It was a lot of fun to watch and, most importantly, to listen to.
Great music is to be expected from a great movie about music, but that isn’t what makes this so special. Hands down, the greatest part of this movie is the characters. They’re extremely unconventional and not your typical leads. All too often these days in movies, whenever you have a woman who isn’t stick thin she’s delegated to the comic relief or is just the punchline. In this movie, Patti becomes the punch line but then she punches right back. Call her fat? Call her ugly? She will destroy you in a rap battle, no question about it. This is the debut film of the actress, Danielle Macdonald, and I for one will be watching her very closely because she is a real talent and I’m looking forward to her next projects. She actually learned to rap for this movie, and wow does it pay off because every time she opens her mouth I am blown away by her talent. She has so much charisma and skill that if this was real I’d be listening to all her music.
I highly recommend this movie, and not just because it played at Sundance, but because it’s a fresh take on an old story. It’s expertly acted with some catchy tunes and I guarantee you’ll have a good time with it.
Verdict: 8.4/10 Peanut butter to the Wonder bread, jam to the Smucker’s, like some impotent dads they some bad motherfuckers