Thursday 6 February 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 review - Number 96 It’s Pat

This movie takes us on a hellish ride through the meaning of gender roles in our society. However, it isn’t profound, it isn’t funny and I wish it wasn’t real! But it is, and tonight we’ll be taking a good hard look why you shouldn’t obsess about people’s sex, in

Gonna open with this one, because seriously... look at that corny bastard. You'll understand this review better now. 

It’s Pat (1994)

The fine print
The famous, and at times infamous, Saturday Night Live comedy variety show has spawned several movies over the years. Perhaps not directly as a product of the show, but as a product of the fame people involved with SNL achieved doing that show. Some of the collaborations that came out of Saturday Night Live have been very successful. Some individuals managed to build a viable career (like say Eddie Murphy, even if the success of his current career can be argued against) in and of themselves, while others went at it in teams (like the, sadly, late Chris Farley and David Spade). Other times the success of the comedians from SNL can be argued. This is the case with It’s Pat, where a few of the inbetweener SNL alumni got together, to churn out a movie so horrendously shitty, it has given Troll 2 a run for its money as the movie I hate the absolute most on this list.

This movie not only isn’t funny, it’s unfunnily gross, it’s stupid in a non-haha way, it’s sexist and totally devoid of any form of charm. Not a single performance or scene in this movie have mitigating factors. It’s just not at all good. And the thing that puts the poo flavored icing on the cake is, that the movie is made because somebody thought it was a hilarious concept. I have no doubt that when Julia Sweeney et al were writing this, they were in hysterics, with pens and paper flying everywhere. They might even have been giggling inanely during production, perhaps delaying principle shooting again and again because they couldn’t stop laughing. I wonder if they still pop this fucker into the VHS machinery, and crap their little pantaloons from uncontrollable fits of laughter. The pants crapping part very nearly happened to me.

Fucking with our perception of gender already. Awesome!

What the fuck is it about even?
It’s about Pat (played by writer Julie Sweeney), as the title aptly shows, who is of an undeterminable gender. I don’t even know what else there is to say, because the rest is just a series of completely stupid and seemingly unrelated happenings in Pat’s life. Pat’s neighbor, the never charming, and recently deceased, Charles Rocket, has a decent looking wife, yet becomes obsessed with finding out the gender of Pat – a task that turns out to be ultimately fruitless, except, I think, that the guy falls in love with Pat. I don’t know if he is supposed to be sexually attracted to Pat, or just have a really weird obsession that borders on actual love. It’s not explored enough to cast final verdict on, and hard to really care about one way or the other.

I don't even really have words for this. Not ones the internet is ready for, anyway.

Pat also finds a love interest, the equally gender ambiguous Chris, played by a very androgynous Dave Foley, but since Pat is a selfish stupid oafish cornball, their relationship is naturally riddled with problems. How could it be otherwise. Pat has an idea that he/she is going to be famous somehow, and ploughs on in pursuit of this idea with completely thick and shortsighted abandon. Lots and lots and lots of jokes are made on expense of typical gender roles being reversed or indistinguishable, and had it been done by, probably, any other people in the entire world, up to, and including, pygmies in sub-Saharan Africa, it could’ve worked. But sadly, it wasn’t done by anybody else. No siree.

Little bastard started early. 

We are basically treated to a classic love type story. Boygirl meets boygirl, boygirl falls in love, boygirl does something unfathomably stupid so other boygirl falls is hurt emotionally. First boygirl realizes their mistake and fixes things, and love prevails between boygirl and boygirl. It’s the same old shtick here, only without anything that resembles enjoyability. In fact, it inspired wanton hate in me, and people in this movie, that I previously had, if nothing else, an indifferent opinion on, were now pretty far in the red on my ledger. Saying yes to excrement like this just cannot be justified, even with the time honored classic: ‘for money’. It’s an unrectifiable crotchstain on any actor’s CV, and how a series of people in charge of, what I’m forced to assume is, large bags of cash can look at anything connected with this movie, and just put on their yes-hats, I cannot understand. I mean even Troll 2 had a story with stuff actually happening. Weird stupid shit, granted, but happening, none the less. This ranks at the very bottom when it comes to stupid plots.

Years later he'd cut his own throat? In a field outside his house? Really? 

Is it actually that bad, or are you just a pussy?
It’s super-de-duper spit down my neck kick me in the crotch awful. I can’t express this enough. It made me want to hurt myself with the nearest sharp and/or blunt object. I tried to perform hara kiri with my remote, but it was sadly ineffective. As with all these movies, It’s Pat is boring and inconsistent. Since it’s technically a comedy, I suppose I expected at least a few, if nothing else, unintentional laughs. There were none. Plump Fiction had one genuine laugh. It’s Pat didn’t even manage that. I was repulsed by every single character in this movie. I know I was supposed to, kind of, being repulsed by Pat itself, but I think I was more repulsed than they had anticipated. And not only by Pat. By everybody. Everybody is equally annoying and loathe inspiring. Except Pat manages to up the ante. It’s quite a feat, really.

Nobody are convincing in their roles, whatever they are trying to be convincing about. Everything is so one dimensional, that you can’t even invest casual interest in characters or the fraction of plot that remains. Even as a background noise movie, this would fall short, because the voices of the character are in themselves annoying. You understand how bad this movie is? I don’t think you do. I’d tell you to go watch it yourself, but I’d open myself up for 2nd degree murder charges and a host of civil suits to boot. Not happening. Don’t watch this. If you want to punish yourself, watch Troll 2 or .Com for Murder. Do not attempt It’s Pat. You’ll regret it. Take my word. I know what I’m talking about.

What is this? I don't even...

Why is this something that exists?
This I think I can answer, for once. Like I mentioned earlier, this flick has several Saturday Night Live alumni on the cast and crew list. So it’s safe to assume it was made solely to attempt to both cash in on the little popularity some of these people had from SNL, and for Julie Sweeney, who probably came up with the Pat character for an SNL skit, to flip the character into a feature length film. Why somebody would ever thing this character could carry a whole fucking movie by itself, is anybody’s guess. The movie was directed by, interestingly enough, a guy called Adam Bernstein. ‘Why Mr. Beinstein’, you might be saying out loud at this very moment, ‘may your career rest in peace’. But here you’d be wrong. While It’s Pat was so extensively shitty, that the cast and crew could’ve rightfully been deported to any latin-American country, it was also Adam’s first feature film. While it doesn’t necessarily excuse anything, it does explain a few decisions. And thankfully Adam learned from the experience, and went on to greener pastures. Among those greener pastures, are episodes of the esteemed Breaking Bad, Scrubs and Weeds to name but a few. Perhaps his métier is in television series, which is fine. I never watched Weeds, but Scrubs was hilarious, and Breaking Bad was breakingly badass. I know direction and the content of the show aren’t necessarily related. But I liked the style of both shows, so that counts for something, right?

Julie Sweeney wasn’t really into that much after It’s Pat. Or rather, she’s been in plenty, but nothing that’s really that well known. Well except, perhaps, that she was in Pulp Fiction. Yes. She was in Pulp Fiction, the same year she did It’s Pat, no less. I can only assume one of two things: Quentin Tarantino had not watched It’s Pat before casting, or he had watched It’s Pat, and felt so sorry for Sweeney, that he decided she needed a speaking part in Pulp Fiction. She plays Raquel, the girl Winston Wolf drives off with outside Monster Joe’s Truck and Tow. She was in there for 10 seconds, at the most. And I still felt more connected with her character there, than with I did with her after 77 grueling minutes of It’s Pat.

Dave Foley, ladies and gentleguys. 

Dave Foley I recognized from a few episodes of Scrubs, where he plays a grief counsellor. He’s decent there. I never watched his hit Canadian youth comedic TV show called Kids in the Hall. A Canadian friend of mine referenced it a few times, so I’m led to believe it’s hilarious. Can’t say I’m a big enough Dave Foley fan to actually check it out. But I guess I’ll be content knowing he did something right at least. More interesting is the story of Charles Rocket, who I knew only from Dumb and Dumber fame, where he is the main antagonist. He was pretty amusing in that movie. He was the exact opposite in this one. The interesting part about him is, that he is dead. But not only is he dead, he was found in a field outside his home in Connecticut, with his throat sliced. And still, it was ruled a suicide. Granted, forensic physiology is only a hobby for me, but slicing your throat can’t be the easiest way to kill yourself. In fact, I think it’s both painful and slow enough to really suck. Perhaps you aren’t too concerned about how dying sucks, when you want to die. But I’m led to believe that most suicidal people care a great deal about going out in the least painful and long lasting way. It’s the ultimate egotistical act anyway, so it would stand to reason. In any case, Mr. Rocket died of, apparently, suicide.

You certainly have a lot of hate. Could you do better?
Yeah, I could. I’m not a past Saturday Night Live cast member, and I don’t have a lot of experience being funny on command. But I do believe I could churn out a script better and more consistently funny, than this. It’s an abomination. And I hate it. Sincerely. The direction was uninspired, the acting was lame and forced, except perhaps Julie Sweeney that convincingly played a complete fuckstick. 77 minutes isn’t a lot of time to fill out with unconnected events featuring somebody in a weird bodysuit, so I could probably manage that. I could’ve written more interesting characters and had a more profound and in depth analysis of contemporary gender roles. It’s all in the wrist, see. All in the wrist.

The old love interest unwittingly has questions about love answered by the very person about whom the question is gag. 

In all seriousness though, yes. I believe I could do better. It really doesn’t take much when we’re talking about It’s Pat. I could probably even write, star and direct it myself, and it’d be better. And for music, I’d bang paint buckets and lead pipes with other lead pipes. For cameras, my phone would do me up nicely. And for lighting, well the sun is the best light there is. Locations doesn’t matter. Anywhere anytime works. It’d still turn out better than It’s Pat. I can honestly say, that watching It’s Pat has made me a little less able to cope with a reality in which It’s Pat was allowed to be made. It’s weird that Troll 2 seems like a terrific watch after this, and it doesn’t bode well for the next 90 odd movies I am going to watch. *spoiler alert: I’ve already watched a lot of them, and I’m still somehow magically alive*

Bro! You can’t convince me there isn’t one redeeming thing about this!

Yes, I can. There isn’t. Not one single goddamn redeeming thing. Not a one. It’s shit. Waste of time, money and resources. If the money spent on this movie had been turned into tiny diamond shaped pieces of paper, and spread in the desert with a great fan, it’d’ve been put to better use. If the money had been used to buy weapons for a small Nicaraguan guerilla squad to coup the government and start a military ruled horror regime, in which millions of innocent people suffered in starvation and ideo-political suppression, it would’ve been better spent. I’d rather watch creationists try to explain why a banana disproves evolution. Over. And over. And over. 

Question for next time, folks. Find the guy in these credits, we'd come to love as Assistant Director of the FBI in another show. 

1 comment:

  1. That sounds horrible. I would say though, I'm tempted to get it just for the fact that "Ween" is part of this horror escapade.