Thursday, August 17, 2017

Patti Cake$ in 250 Words or Less

While Patti Cake$ wears the badge of "crowd pleaser" proudly it maybe wears it a little too loud, like bling that's too big and quickly eats up its owner. It's got a strong central performance from Danielle Macdonald in its lead, and a load of life from its second tier characters (it's always a goddamn joy to see Cathy Moriarty on screen, and I already told you about the sneak attack of guy hotness contained therein) but you really can see every step the movie's going to make from eight miles away, and it never swerves left instead of right.

And sometimes this sort of thing is fine! Depending on your mood, depending on that day's willingness to just roll with an unchallenging script and coast on an actor's charisma, sometimes paint-by-numbers is plenty when the charisma's this thick. But I kept seeing glimmers of a more interesting movie beneath Patti's surface, and wishing it would've gone for broke.

Would it have sold for nine-plus million dollars at Sundance if it had? Ha ha, no. Not a chance. And in the long run it might not entirely matter - I can see myself being reminded of this movie a couple of years from now and feeling warm and friendly towards it, and wanting to see it again right away. But to get to that point I'll have needed to forget about the movie first, and I don't foresee that being a tough path to find myself upon.

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