Plot: Pat (Julia Sweeney) is always the center of attention, for better or worse, as people can’t help but be curious about Pat’s personal life. The attention is increased thanks to Pat’s dramatic personality, as Pat loves to be talked about and takes any chance to be in the spotlight possible. But what people really want to know is what gender Pat happens to be, as the clothes, persona, and lifestyle leave that part of Pat as a mystery, one that some are driven to solve. When Pat meets and falls for Chris (Dave Foley), it seems like the answer will be revealed, only to have Chris be in a similar situation, as no one knows Chris’ gender either. As time passes, Pat struggles to keep a job, which puts stress on the new relationship, while Pat’s neighbor Kyle (Charles Rocket) begins to sink into an obsession with Pat’s androgynous lifestyle. When Pat appears on a World’s Weirdest People television program, it is the chance Pat has waited for, but what will happen when Pat finally gets a taste of fame?
Entertainment Value: This is an odd one, even by the wildly inconsistent standard held by movies based on Saturday Night Live skits, as It’s Pat was ushered out of theaters after just one week and has picked up the reputation as one of the worst movies ever made, despite a cult fan base. The movie is terrible, without question, but it is so bizarre that the humor starts to work and the outlandish choices lead to memorable, even quotable moments. The narrative is all over the place and never finds a real flow, so we have what feels like a chain of smaller skits assembled into a feature length adventure, with a few threads to keep things sewn up. But the idea of these kind of SNL movies is often to let the characters expand into a larger scope story, which certainly doesn’t happen in the basic, low ambition realm of It’s Pat. I think that just serves to add to the campiness however, as it leads to more offbeat and even unintentional humor, so the movie again entertains, even if not as intended. In other words, if you want a subtle, cerebral style of humor or even a traditional approach to humor, the random, bizarre nature of It’s Pat isn’t going to dazzle your senses. But if you have an appreciation for movies that miss the mark, only to deliver an outrageous, over the top, and downright oddball experience, this is worth a spin.
As you can likely imagine, It’s Pat is not the kind of material that leads to stunning, award level performances, but the cast does put in a little effort. The acting is of course terrible and held back by the outlandish script, but I think the performances are fun to watch, even if just for the cringe involved. Julia Sweeney played Pat on the show and she reprises the role for the movie, but she dials up the ridiculousness for the big screen and it is sometimes hard to watch. Some scenes are so bad, you can’t help but laugh, but there are sequences where Sweeney tries to force the comedy so hard, it is embarrassing to watch. But in either case, there is some entertainment involved, especially if you appreciate train wreck cinema. For better or worse, Sweeney carries the movie with her bizarre, inconsistent performance and even when she struggles, her energy is high and she’s never dull to watch here. Dave Foley has a prominent role, but pretty much just goes through the motions in a forgettable performance, while Charles Rocket is so bad as the obsessed neighbor, it borders on masterful thespianism. The cast also includes Kathy Najimy, Larry Hankin, Kathy Griffin, and Timothy Stack.
The Disc: KL Studio Classics has rolled out a Blu-ray release for It’s Pat and the movie looks more than solid here. The image is clean and offers a sharper look than the DVD incarnation, even if it isn’t as eye popping as some HD treatments. The colors are bright and natural in scope, contrast is even handed, and while it might not enflame the senses, It’s Pat looks terrific in this new treatment.