“Patti Cake$” never overdoses on its features: wannabe rap stars, alcoholic mothers, harsh lives, and dreams. It’s a solid movie that keeps you going, even in its downfalls.
Danielle Macdonald (The East,” “Every Secret Thing”) plays Patti, a 23-year-old aspiring rapper, who wants to escape New Jersey in order to live a better life. In the meantime, she serves as a bartender, needing the hours and cash in order to take care of her would-be-rock-star-turned-alcoholic mother Barb (Bridget Everett) and sick grandmother Nana (Cathy Moriarty).
She sleeps with her headphones on, wins a rap battle with her vulgar lyrics, and gets support from her pharmacist friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay).
She also meets Basterd the Antichrist (Mamoudou Athie), a musician with dark taste in music, who has a small recording studio, allowing her and Jheri to record some dope sh*t. Even Nana joins in. They’re now known as PBNJ.
“Patti Cake$” is written and directed by Geremy Jasper, who also did a few short films and music videos. Ergo, he satirizes the rap artist world with fake music videos, fantasies, the hard humble beginnings that most musicians have come across, and the mix tapes sold out on the streets.
There are some hard moments like Patti losing her job, and dealing with her mother. The movie didn’t do anything wrong; I just find some thing difficult to watch. Aside from them, the movie has a style all it’s own.
The performances from Macdonald, Everett, Moriarty, Dhananjay, and Athie are spot on; the low life drama is pure; and you’re pretty much rooting for these rap characters.