A fun and charming crowd-pleaser that was surprisingly touching even though it was an utterly predictable, underdog-triumphs-against-life-predicaments sort of film that ticked all the usual tropes, and it was due to the sincerity of writer/director Geremy Jasper and the endearing, and breakout star, Danielle Macdonald.
The film would have benefitted from a tighter edit and cutting its runtime by about 10 mins. Nonetheless, it was still an easy digest and the extra minutes did help to further inform the characters, although it did not add too much to the main narrative nor the emotional catharsis sought by Jasper in the final act.
Jasper followed a very strict three-act structure and that did give the film a backbone which helped the filmmaker to tell his story. The characters too were rote and stereotypical archetypes. But despite all that the film succeeded based on the sincerity of the story and the strength of Macdonald's portrayal. The infectious raps definitely helped too; as did Cathy Moriarty's cantankerous Nana.
Macdonald's underdog drew us into her emotional stratosphere by sheer force of infectious charisma. She spits her rhymes convincingly and we want her to succeed. Even though her route to escape from her life was predictable, it was a testament to Jasper's skills and Macdonald's talent that we never stopped supporting her struggle and climb to success.
Bridget Everett was the mother. The archetypical non-supportive single parent whom we know eventually will likely come to their senses and appreciate the talent of their child. Perhaps the additional minutes spent on giving her a more complete arc was to bolster the emotional climax of the parent-child relationship. But I did not think that it was absolutely necessary.
The raps, and single song, were written by Jasper, and kudos to him for writing such catchy and infectious pieces.
"Patti Cake$" was a refreshing, charming departure from the doldrums of recent films and a very pleasing placeholder till the fall/winter Oscar contenders.