Patti Cake$ (2017)

Impression: I can’t think of a more quintessentially American movie (or maybe just New Jersey) I have seen in a long time, or maybe ever. And I mean that in all the positive ways: the optimism, the American Dream (but in this case with a good dose of realism, and also clearly showing that idea often does not work out), people from very different backgrounds coming together to work on something they love. But it does not gloss over the details: it shows the hopelessness of working dead end jobs in a small town, the bitterness when your life does not work out the way you hoped, our completely failed medical system, and people just being mean and cruel to each other.  It’s amazing that the movie is able to touch on so many issues in less than two hours, but at no point does any of it feel forced. Sure, hundreds, of movies have been made about someone having a dream and overcoming obstacles to make it happen. It’s probably the most cliche Hollywood plot there is.  But I can’t think of a single other time, where I enjoyed it more. The performances are outstanding, the cinematography and editing are excellent. There are a couple of really cool, and also hilarious sequences when we see what Patti imagines in her dreams, the opening sequence especially.  This movie is basically everything a movie should be: entertaining throughout, funny, but also thought provoking.  You also can’t stop singing P B N J once you leave the theater.

Facts: Patricia works in a dive bar, cares for her nanna, and puts up with her alcoholic mother, and hangs out with her best friend Hareesh, all the while dreaming of one day being discovered as a rap superstar, Killa P, AKA Patti Cake$.

Extra: I saw this as a closing film at the 2017 Indy Film Fest.

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