Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, a.k.a. Killa P. (Danielle Macdonald), has had it with life in her rundown New Jersey hometown. At 23, she is ready to hit the road and make a play for the kind of musical immortality that her idol rap god O-Z enjoys. But plain and plus-sized Patti is stuck at home with her wheelchair-bound grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) and bitter, boozy mother (Bridget Everett).
When she gets caught up in a parking-lot freestyle battle and easily demolishes the competition, the thrill of victory makes escape from a lifetime of tending bar and cleaning up other people’s messes seem possible — and Patti will do whatever it takes to grab onto her dream. With the help of her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), mysterious musician Basterd (Mamoudou Athie) and her loving Nana, she leads a charge against the army of haters, unpaid bills and broken dreams that are holding her back.
An origin story for an imaginary hip-hop heroine who deserves to exist, PATTI CAKE$ deftly straddles the line between fantasy and reality — just like Patti herself.