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Film / It's Pat!

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It's Pat! is one of many Saturday Night Live spin-off movies. This one, released in 1994, features Pat Riley (Julia Sweeney), and as in the sketches, revolves around the fact that nobody can tell whether Pat is a man or woman. Among them is Pat's neighbor Kyle (Charles Rocket), who obsesses over Pat's gender to the point of stalking. In addition to that plot and various scenes with characters wanting to know what Pat is, the movie also involves Pat's struggling relationship with Chris (Dave Foley), desire to be famous, and difficulty holding on to a job.

It's Pat! provides examples of:

  • Absent Animal Companion: One scene shows that Pat has a cat, Muffy, who is never seen or mentioned again after the one scene. This scene is done to once again trick the audience into thinking that the mystery of Pat's gender is revealed, as Chris says to Pat, "I love to stroke your pussycat", before we see the cat.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Once Pat hears that Kyle sent a video of Pat singing karaoke to be shown on TV, Pat gets excited and thinks Pat is a celebrity because of it, then fame goes further to Pat's head when Ween, after recognizing Pat from the TV appearance, invites Pat to be in one of their music videos. Ween only wanted Pat to be in one music video, but Pat thinks their now a regular part of the group, disappointed to learn otherwise. Pat's attitude over this "fame" (in addition to Pat's inability to keep a job) is what leads Pat and Chris to break up.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Pat and Chris.
    • Also Pat's elementary school Valentine, Terry (or is it Teri?).
  • Amicable Exes: After breaking off their engagement, Chris wants to remain friends with Pat.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Kyle's boundary-crossing obsession with Pat and the extreme lengths he goes to unmask Pat's true gender identity while dipping into crossdressing himself comes off as this.
  • Ascended Extra: In the Pat sketches, Chris is frequently mentioned but only made actual on-screen appearances a handful of times. Here, Chris is a main on-screen character.
  • As Himself: Kathy Griffin, Ween, Arlene Sorkin, and Camille Paglia appear as themselves in this.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Any time Pat says something that sounds like it reveals Pat's gender turns out to be a double-meaning term. Though given the characters reason for existence, it's likely obvious that Pat means something else when Pat says something that sounds gender-specific.
    • At one point during Pat and Chris' falling in love montage, Pat is heard saying "When I got it home, I decided I didn't like it." It looks as if Pat is narrating this to the audience, talking about Chris not being so great, but then the camera pans and it is revealed that Pat is talking to Chris about a bathmat that Pat purchased.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, Pat tells Chris about a bath mat that Pat hated and returned. When Kyle finally unlocks Pat's laptop diary, he finds that Pat's first entry is about this (even written word-for-word of what Pat told Chris).
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Chris has a phD in Cultural Anthropology but prefers to be a bartender.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Pat decides this after an entire audience at a Ween concert sees Pat pants-less.
  • Closet Key: Pat for Kyle who eventually takes up crossdressing in his obsession with Pat.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Pat misses the point of a LOT of things. And not just questions on topics relating to Pat's gender.
    • When Pat and Chris discuss that Pat keeps losing jobs, Pat claims to be the better "job expert" due to the fact that Pat has had 23 jobs in the past year whereas Chris has only had one.
    • Ween recognizes Pat from the TV appearance and invites Pat to appear in a music video, which leads Pat to think that Pat is now a member of the band.
    • When Chris calls in to Pat's radio show after their break-up, Chris doesn't specifically say that Chris is Pat's ex-fiancee but also reveals Chris' own name, says that Chris was in a relationship with somebody named Pat (stressing it over and over), and mentions a number of key things that led to their break-up but that Chris wants to go for Pat. Pat does not recognize Chris' voice or catch on to who this Chris is and tells Chris to leave the ex.
    • When Pat stops by the radio station where Kathy works asking her for a job, when Kathy is busy, she calls for security (to escort Pat out), but Pat mistakenly thinks Kathy was suggesting Pat take a security job.
    • Despite the fact that he sent the video to a show called America's Creepiest People, Kyle objects when he sees the host refer to Pat's performance as creepy, saying that it's brilliant.
    • When a guy and his group of friends asks Pat "are you a brother or a sister?", Pat's response is "I'm an only child!".
  • Contrived Coincidence: Pat and Chris' relationship. The average person cannot tell what gender either of them is, they both have names that could go to a man or woman, both are oblivious to other people being unable to tell, and they end up in a romantic relationship together.
  • Creepy Doll: Kyle has a Pat doll.
  • Determinator: Kyle is determined to find out what Pat's gender is (without actually directly asking). When he steals Pat's laptop diary and then gets Pat to admit that the password is a word in the dictionary, Kyle goes through the whole dictionary (it ends up being the very last word).
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Pat has a dream where Chris' head comes out of a cabbage and Pat's shower, insulting Pat.
  • Drop-In Character: Pat is this to Kathy, looking at her window from outside her apartment when it's locked until she gets home to tell her that Pat noticed that her VCR is blinking and offers to fix it, but when Kathy decides to let Pat do it then, she learns that Pat can't do it right now, but at a time that's convenient for Pat. That "convenient time for Pat" happens to be when Kathy is wrapped in a towel waiting for a date. Pat later wakes up Kathy in her home at night just to announce Pat's upcoming television appearance (revealing at this point that Pat's key happens to also fit Kathy's lock). Later on, Pat even drops in at Kathy's work while she is on the air doing a radio program.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In an epilogue, Pat and Chris get married.
  • Exact Words: Kyle sends a recording of Pat to be on TV in an attempt to learn Pat's gender, but after a few things he expected to reveal it end up not revealing (such as Kyle looking at Pat's drivers license, which a dog chewed on, putting a hole in the spot that lists Pat's gender), Kyle tells Pat that the show requires people who appear on the show to send them a photo of themselves in the nude. Pat remarks that Pat hasn't had one taken recently, and Kyle assures Pat that any picture is fine. The picture ends up being a baby picture, obscuring whether Pat has a penis.
  • Fake Video Camera View: Kyle looks through the window to Pat's bathroom and sees what he thinks is Pat peeing standing up (in actuality, Pat is emptying an expired container of orange juice and brings his video camera to investigate further, showing this view.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Although Pat and Chris pretty much fall in love at first sight, their first meeting is followed by a montage of them spending time together later on the day of their first meeting.
  • Flat "What": Pat, when Kyle asks if Pat has a picture of Pat in the nude.
  • Going Postal: Averted, but briefly discussed when Pat gets fired from being a mail carrier. When Pat reacts "What?" to being fired, Pat's boss carefully explains why he's firing Pat while putting on a vest (presumably bulletproof) and asks if Pat's disgruntled before again saying that Pat's fired.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: While Pat is not bald (except for a brief scene in the makeover montage), an early scene showing one of Pat's early jobs shows that Pat once had an afro.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The climax begins in one.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kyle, whose obsession with Pat has driven him to cross-dressing.
  • Innocent Innuendo:
    • Pat makes all sorts of this, intended to sound as if Pat's gender has finally been revealed, before Pat quickly shows what Pat actually meant.
      Pat: [after falling down the stairs] I just crushed my nuts! [takes bag of nuts out of pocket] There goes my afternoon snack.
      Pat: [after appearing in a music video for the band Ween] I played with the Ween! I played with the Ween!
    • The scene where Pat goes to the store to buy "personal items" is a good example of this.
  • Karaoke Box: Pat sings karaoke at Pat and Chris' pre-wedding party. Kyle records it and sends it to be on a TV show showcasing home videos, making Pat a minor celebrity.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: At Pat and Chris's engagement party, they are asked about the wife changing her last name. Pat and Chris say that they'd decided that they'd both keep their last name after being married.
  • Makeover Montage: At one point, Pat goes to a hair stylist and asks to look more like Pat's own gender. This montage includes giving Pat a specific female hairstyle, a specific male hairstyle, and even making Pat bald, before Pat settles on Pat's old hair style.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: As modern Pat narrates, the beginning shows Pat's birth and a day in school.
  • Modesty Towel: Pat shows up at Kathy's house when she is dressed only in a towel. Kathy points this out and then asks Pat if she should be embarrassed.
  • Mushroom Samba: When Pat eats mushrooms at a party for Ween, Pat assumes they are filled with drugs and hallucinates... Before being told they are ordinary mushrooms purchased at Safeway.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: A running plotline is Pat's inability to keep a job. In most cases, Pat is fired for things that could have been avoided (like, when Pat is a mail carrier, reading the mail of other people), though Pat sometimes quits as well for foolish reasons (such as when Pat quits being a server at a sushi restaurant over having to do what the job requires, and plans to quit as a manager for a gas company because Pat feels overqualfied). Eventually, Pat finds success as a radio call-in host. By the end credits, Kathy has her job back. It's never explained why Pat is no longer a radio host, but it's implied to be because Pat no longer desires to be famous.
  • No Sympathy: Pat replaces Kathy as radio call-in host after answering calls and showing no sympathy to their problems, which boost ratings for the show. When one caller is sad because she doesn't have much time to live, Pat's response is to play an audio clip of a baby crying and to tell her to "call 1-800-wah-wah-wah, wah-wah-wah".
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: At first, Kyle is just more curious than others about what Pat is, becoming more and more obsessed with knowing. He starts crossing the line by stalking Pat (by using binoculars to see Pat in Pat's bathroom and informing Pat that a picture of Pat in the nude is needed before video footage of Pat can be accepted for a TV show), then goes further by stealing Pat's diary and finding out the password, and by the climax Kyle has finally snapped and chases after Pat. All because he didn't just ask Pat what Pat's gender is.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Kyle asks Pat, "Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" It's a banana.
  • Pop Culture Osmosis: The Critic had a parody of the character. Jeremy comments she's a girl because he saw her naked in her dressing room. The Julia Sweeney Expy wails, "You ruined my career!"
  • Random Events Plot: Aside from the minor plotlines of Pat's inability to hold a job/desire for fame, troubled relationship with Chris, and Kyle's obsession with knowing what Pat is, many scenes feel more like they could have easily been stand-alone Pat sketches.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After reading through the entire dictionary for the password, breaking into Pat's computer and reading Pat's diary, Kyle discovers no new information in regards to Pat's sex, and he finally snaps.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • At one point, Pat finds out that some people don't know what gender Pat is and goes to Pat's hair stylist asking to look like their own gender, with the clueless stylist giving Pat both a specifically male and specifically female hairstyle, both of which Pat rejects. When the stylist gives Pat their original hair style again, Pat exclaims "it's me!"
    • Fans who expected Pat's sex to finally be revealed in this movie probably view this movie to be one.
  • Shameful Strip: Kyle attempts this on Pat in a dark room despite Pat's obvious discomfort. As he is determined to uncover Pat's gender whether Pat likes it or not.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Despite not knowing what gender Pat is, Kyle's obsession with Pat causes him to develop a crush. He even goes so far as to tape a picture of Pat's face over his wife's face on their wedding photo.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Pat wasn't so self-centered or obnoxious in the original sketches as the character is here.
  • The Unreveal: See spoiler text under "Shaggy Dog" Story.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Kyle demands that Pat strip naked, but Pat runs off into a Ween concert. After Kyle corners Pat on a catwalk, Pat falls, and Pat's clothes get caught on a hook. This tears off Pat's pants and lowers Pat in front of the cheering audience, though Pat's genitals are revealed neither to Kyle nor to the moviegoer.
  • You Are What You Hate: Kyle who is obsessed with Pat and going to dangerous lengths to uncover Pat's true gender, in believing they're simply a crossdresser. By the end, Kyle is still obsessed and has now turned to crossdressing as a woman.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Pat, to the point where they become difficult to root for.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Pat doesn't seem to care that Kyle has rushed to Pat's house, uninvited, with video camera in hand, to record Pat in the bathroom.
    • Pat doesn't seem to care that the show the video of Pat appears on is titled America's Creepiest People.