Talk about not knowing what to expect with latest release from Fox Searchlight Pictures release which is just now expanding to theaters nationwide. If you’ve seen the trailer for this very under-hyped drama, you probably were influenced in either a positive or negative way as far as wanting to see this movie. I the next few paragraphs, I will attempt to bring together a clearer picture of what to expect from Patti Cake$. For those that have already sworn it off for one reason or another, you may want to pay special attention to what I have to say.
Patricia Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald) lives at home with her mother in a blue collar area of New Jersey. Patrica is basically in a holding pattern as she keeps her head in the clouds waiting for her big break to occur. When you get a mental image of a female rapper in your head, well Patti probably isn’t the thought that you’d arrive at initially. If you think public perception will slow down this girl, well you’d be wrong…and right. Patti puts up a tough front but she has feelings just like the rest of us. In a battle for money, fame, honor and self respect, Patti Cake$ won’t go down without a fight.
Just like Eminem’s story of struggle 15 years ago in 8 Mile (2002), we meet Patti Cake$ who is basically trying to overcome similar challenges. Using a similarly styled path, much of the Geremy Jasper led drama will come as much surprise. That being said, it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The internet is calling Patricia Dombrowski a breakout star and I would have to agree with them. Her story and her performance are both impressive and inspiring. The Australian born actor actually had to learn to rap. Once you see this film you’ll understand just how amazing that fact is. Not only did she need to perfect this new craft, she also had to do it while shedding her native accent, replacing it by a very foreign New Jersey one. She nails it! Her commitment to her craft should gain her recognition as various year-end awards shows start to pipe in.
On the supporting side of things, Siddharth Dhananjay (as Patti’s BFF), Mamoudou Athie (as an eclectic drifter), Bridget Everett (the mom that loves to party) and Cathy Moriarty (a Nana with attitude) bring layers of enjoyment to Patti Cake$. The change of pace from music to humor to love to heartache to pride is intoxicating in that the more you take in, the greater the effects will be on your soul.
The music itself is instantly catchy and many will want to run out (figuratively speaking of course) to purchase the soundtrack which is totally understandable in this case. Eminem once said, “Time for me to just stand up and travel new land. Time to really just take matters into my own hands.” These lyrics are deep when you really think about it and that’s exactly how you’ll feel once you have experienced Patti Cake$. Have a little fun before summer becomes a distant memory and see this one in theaters.