It's Pat

1994, Movie, PG-13, 77 mins

Review

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In the wake of WAYNE'S WORLD, Hollywood offers yet another tepid film comedy based on a recurring "Saturday Night Live" sketch. The androgynous Pat, Julia Sweeney's vehicle for stale gags of the "Is it a she or a he?" variety, is a comic concept too limited to justify big-screen treatment.

They say you are what you do, and what Pat (Sweeney) does best is to confound the efforts of anyone trying to identify his or her sex. Pat longs for the self-definition that comes with a satisfying career, but it's tough holding a job when you're an immature, narcissistic, annoying, drooling, giggling, downright weird person of indeterminate gender. After getting fired from the post office and a sushi bar, things look up for our hero(ine?) when the equally androgynous Chris (Dave Foley from "The Kids in the Hall") enters the picture. It's as if they were made for each other. They both like good movies and sunny days. The two quickly become engaged. In the meantime, Pat's neighbor Kyle (Charles Rocket) has become obsessed with discovering Pat's gender. He puts Pat under 24-hour surveillance, to no avail. After a videotape of Pat singing is shown on the TV show "America's Creepiest People," Pat is invited by the rock band Ween to appear in their new music video. Pat thinks it's an invitation to join the band, and when the truth comes out, Pat and Chris fight because Chris doesn't pity Pat enough.

Kyle, who's gone insane, attempts to seduce Pat to satisfy his demented curiosity. After failing in this, he steals Pat's computer diary. This sets in motion an odd chain of events which results in Pat's becoming a radio talk show host; his/her rude and abrupt treatment of callers is an immediate hit. Kyle offers to return the diary (which revealed nothing) if Pat will meet him in a hall of mirrors. There, he demands that Pat remove her clothing. Pat runs away, and the ensuing chase climaxes with Pat hanging naked from a hook above the stage at a Ween concert. On display before a cheering crowd, Pat realizes fame's downside. Once unhooked and dressed, Pat hurries to stop Chris from boarding a ship bound for Tibet and the pair wed.

Produced with some fanfare and then given a token theatrical release in only a couple of cities before being quietly dumped on the video market, IT'S PAT is not as bad as it might have been, but that's not saying much. The opening half-hour, as Pat and former music video director Bernstein conspire to keep the secret while depicting the banal existence of this truly irritating character, is reasonably entertaining. The remainder of the film has some amusing moments, but the story goes nowhere, and if the film ran longer than its 80 minutes, it would have become too tedious to tolerate. leave a comment

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