This is your typical struggling musician underdog tale, kinda like an "8-Mile" movie for large sized white girls from New Jersey. At least, that's the most general description you could give this film. Yes, the narrative is very familiar, and it goes through the motions and story beats that you expect it to go. It even has a competition at the end that needs to be won. There are moments that feel contrived, and there are questionable character motivations as well. All I've just said are reasons why somebody would not like this movie. However, just like the lead underdog character, you need to give this a chance.
Truth be told, I was apprehensive about watching this, because it didn't seem like my kind of movie. I was wrong. This unsuspectingly became my kind of movie. A movie with a lot of heart, and grand but intimate moments that pulled on my heart strings. There are some big scenes that are either expected and telegraphed, or just come out of nowhere, but they just managed to grab my attention with a sort of personal honesty that absolutely justifies itself; despite some of those cliches and familiar plot tropes. This movie is filled with these big moments, and it's simply fantastic.
It's a musical! Although it might not seem like one, the sheer amount of music, songs, and rap, that occur in this movie warrants the description of this being a musical. Speaking of which, the songs are good! The rap are good! You can argue cultural appropriation and what not, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I was listening to, and I was immediately compelled to listen to the official soundtrack as soon as the movie was over. Going back to the "8-Mile" comparison, there is even a song that is done in the same vein as Eminem's "Lose Yourself."
"Patti Cake$" has the vision of Writer-Director Geremy Jasper to pull through with making this movie as good as it is, despite the odds against it. The whole supporting cast is great as well and contributed to the strength of this film. From Bridgett Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, and even Cathy Moriarty. Of course, the one element that really carried this whole movie is Danielle Macdonald, who is simply amazing in the role of Patti, and probably the primary reason to see this film.
lovedit ENJOYED IT itsokayitsmehitsterrible