Geremy Jasper's Patti Cake$ — about a poor, overweight white girl pursuing her dream of being a legit rapper — is the feelgood movie of 2017 (so far), filled with clever and infectious music, an offbeat love story and some familiar-but-always-welcome components of classic loser-becomes-winner flicks.
Keep reading for my thoughts on this music-driven, beats-heavy take on the American dream ...
With an effortlessly charming performance by Danielle Mcdonald as Patti aka Killa P, Patti Cake$ never stutters as it chronicles a young woman's hardscrabble existence in Jersey, including some mom/daughter rivalry (NYC staple Bridget Everett is a break-out star as Patti's slovenly, barfly mama) to make you need someone to hold your hair back while you ralph.
In a surprising supporting role, an unrecognizable Cathy Moriarty is far from her glam Raging Bull (1980) debut of 37 years ago, playing Patti's desperately ill but decidedly funny, un-PC grandmother. (She's all of 56 in real life!) She gets some of the movie's best lines — and improves them — which is saying a lot when we're talking about a movie containing some dizzyingly funny rhymes.
Some of the twists are a bit too guessable, but Patti Cake$ genuinely captures our shared desire to make something of ourselves— or at least to get the hell outta wherever we began life.
Patti Cake$ is in theaters Friday.