“I find everything about you… endlessly fascinating.”
Saturday Night Live is a TV institution like no other. For over 40 years, it’s churned out 90 minutes of live sketch comedy week after week after week. It’s launched the careers of literally dozens of the funniest actors to have worked in movies since the 70s. Yet, for all of that success, I’d say its movie output is more miss than hit. Sure, movies like Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers still hold up today as classics. But then, you get cash in, straw clutchers, like It’s Pat.
The titular Pat (Julia Sweeney) is the androgynous cypher whose gender confuses everyone he or she meets. Opening with Pat being fired from the US Postal Service for reading other people’s mail, the first act is basically a montage of sketches as Pat tries other professions. From sushi chef to gas inspector, it’s all just an excuse for obvious word play and bad visual gags as Pat’s sex is kept a mystery.
But at one of these jobs, Pat meets the just as androgynous Chris (Dave Foley), and the two immediately fall for each other. Get it? No one knows if Chris is a man or a woman either, and because their sexual orientation is never clear, their relationship and attraction to each other does nothing to clarify either of their genders. Also, Charles Rocket plays Kyle, a neighbor of Pat’s whose obsession with discovering Pat’s gender leads to an infatuation, that I guess is meant to be funny.
The character of Pat on Saturday Night Live was pretty successful. I know that, because Saturday Night Live wasn’t on Australian TV in 1994, but I knew who this character was anyway. Even with that little exposure, I could tell how one note and played out the characters and premise were. The monumental shitting of the bed that was the box office failure of It’s Pat was also pretty legendary. I know that because news of its tanking reached Australia as well. But none of that prepared me for the immense piece of shit that was this movie.
I know the people who turn Saturday Night Live sketches into movies aren’t the most discerning, but how could anyone have seen this single joke character and thought there was a feature length movie in it? Even the head bobbing guys from A Night at the Roxbury had more substance than this. The character is beyond annoying, the one and only joke is run into the ground before the opening credits are done, and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. It’s Pat is a movie so bad, it didn’t just bore me, it made me angry.