‘Patti Cake$’ is an Audacious Blend of Music, Humor, and Drama

GameStop, Inc.

Patti Cake$

In every corner of the world, people from all different backgrounds with all different types of body types dream of stardom. When we first see Patricia (Danielle MacDonald) in writer-director Geremy Jasper’s Sundance hit Patti Cake$, she’s in the midst of that dream. She takes the stage beside her hip hop idol O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah) surrounded by vibrant green lights and thousands of adoring fans. Then her alarm buzzes and the young woman is back in her mundane, difficult life in Bayonne, New Jersey. It’s a fantastic opening scene of a sharp piece of filmmaking that touches on issues of class, cultural appropriation, family, music, and the elusive nature of our dreams.

Life outside her dreams isn’t so nice for Patricia. She’s hounded by bill collectors over the mounting medical bills for her sickly grandmother (Cathy Moriarty). She works at a dingy bar with limited hours and the constant visits from her mother (Bridget Everett), who wallows in her dreams of faded music glory through the copious consumption of alcohol. Patricia is constantly taunted by the men of her neighborhood, even the one man she has a crush on, Danny (MaCaul Lombardi), who calls her “Dumbo” despairingly. She finds a respite from the cruelty and despair of her world through her dreams of music superstardom, working on songs with her good friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay). The duo struggles to get their music off the ground but things start to change when they meet Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), a soft-spoken young man with plenty of musical talent though it does have an abrasive style. Patricia works various jobs and moonlights as a musician in the hopes that her songs will be her salvation.

Even as Patti Cake$ dives into some sad aspects to Patricia’s life of toiling in low wage jobs and living with an alcoholic mother, Geremy Jasper never allows the film to lose its sense of fun. We’re able to vicariously find the joy that drives Patricia and her dreams of stardom. There’s a wit to the dialogue and situations that is matched by the visual style that Jasper brings to the story. The film captures so vividly the desperation that grips Patricia in her life and you can understand that she believes her only way out is through her music. Patti Cake$ strikes a deft balance in its joyous examination of the creative process and the drama of life on the edge of financial and personal ruin.

Patti Cake$ also works with its musical aspects. So often movies about musicians on the rise feature songs that aren’t quite catchy, but the music by Jasper and Jason Binnick is really quite catchy. Danielle MacDonald belts out the rhymes and the backing provided by Siddharth Dhananjay give the film a number of ear worms that you’ll be humming or singing for days after you’ve left the theater.

Danielle MacDonald delivers a breakout performance that’s truly astonishing. She takes you deep in the heart and mind of this character and never for second do you doubt the emerging actress’ authenticity. MacDonald is given plenty to work opposite with Siddarth Dhananjay and Mamoudou Athie giving the film strong supporting characters with their own unique dynamic with the film’s leading character. Also providing standout work is the grizzled performance by Cathy Moriarty as the sickly grandmother and the heartbreaking performance of Bridget Everett as the mother wasting away in broken dreams and the bottle.

Patti Cake$ is a movie that its characters and the audience on a number of ups and downs. Sometimes Geremy Jasper’s film takes the more predictable route, but it’s not enough to derail the vibrant, powerful energy that the film captures, and that Danielle MacDonald captures in her excellent performance. You don’t have to be the world’s biggest hip hop fan to enjoy the blend of comedy, music, and drama at the heart of Patti Cake$. Here’s a movie that finds the healing aspects of creativity and the power of perseverance during the most trying times of our lives, when reality beats us down. Patti Cake$ gets beat down a little bit, but she never gives up.

Patti Cake$
  • Overall Score
3.5

Summary

A vibrant blend of humor, music, and drama, Patti Cake$ features a breakout performance by Danielle MacDonald as a young woman trying to escape her mundane life in Bayonne, New Jersey through her musical aspirations.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ Season Two – Interview

Legendary Actor, Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap‘ Season Two, 2-Hour Season...

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby’

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby‘...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentines Special 2024 pt 1

Are you kidding? Look at the size of this thing.

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...