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Non-Review Review: Patti Cake$

Patti Cake$ is intermittently charming, but far too familiar.

Patti Cake$ is a familiar breed of indie movie. It is the story of a young protagonist trapped in a small town and surrounded by eccentric characters who yearns to escape, but finds herself hemmed in by lack of opportunity, by family and by sheer economic pressure. It is a quintessential triumph-over-adversity narrative, albeit approached from the slightly skewed perspective of a young white female rapper in New Jersey.

Let’s get this Patti started in here.

There are some interesting elements of Patti Cake$, especially the performances by actors like Danielle Macdonald and Bridget Everett. There are moments when this familiar template works very well at hitting particular cues, whether the mundanity of Patti’s day-to-day existence, the emotional realism of particular relationships in her life, or even a really good and well-timed joke. However, those moments are largely fleeting. For most of its runtime, Patti Cake$ is a perfectly adequate story of what it feels like to socially strive.

Patti Cake$ doesn’t have any new rhymes, and so settles for some well-worn beats.

She’s got drive.

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