It's Pat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
It's Pat
A large person stands naked in the center of the poster with a big pink question mark over their body
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Produced by Charles B. Wessler
Screenplay by Julia Sweeney
Jim Emerson
Stephen Hibbert
Quentin Tarantino
Based on The character 
by Julia Sweeney
Starring Julia Sweeney
Dave Foley
Charles Rocket
Kathy Griffin
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Jeff Jur
Editing by Norman Hollyn
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
Release dates
  • August 26, 1994 (1994-08-26)
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $60,822[1]

It's Pat is a 1994 comedy film directed by Adam Bernstein and starring Julia Sweeney, Dave Foley, Charles Rocket, and Kathy Griffin. The film was based on the Saturday Night Live (SNL) character Pat created by Sweeney, an androgynous misfit whose sex is never revealed.

Dave Foley plays Pat's partner, Chris, and Charles Rocket, another SNL alumnus, plays Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen.


Pat Riley is an obnoxious job-hopper of indeterminable sex who is searching for a steady foundation in life. Pat encounters Chris, a person of similarly indeterminable sex, and the two fall in love and get engaged. Meanwhile, Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen, develops an unhealthy obsession with unveiling Pat's sex and begins stalking him/her. Kyle sends in a tape of Pat performing karaoke to a TV show called America's Creepiest People, bringing him/her to the attention of the band Ween, who features him/her in one of their performances playing the tuba. Pat becomes distraught when he/she learns that Ween intended to only use him/her for one gig, then breaks up with Chris, and discovers that his/her laptop diary has been stolen.

Later, it turns out that Kyle stole Pat's diary, and he tries coercing Pat into revealing the computer's password so he can access the files. Pat's only answer is that the word is in the dictionary. Kyle then begins typing in every single word in the dictionary. Meanwhile, Pat is harassed by a gang of thugs intent on discovering his/her sex, and Pat becomes distraught over his/her androgynous nature. He/she goes to complain to his/her friend, Kathy, host of a radio talk show and therapist, but the station fires Kathy and hires Pat due to his/her acerbic reactions to call-in listeners. Kyle ends up going through the entire dictionary until he reaches the last word, "zythum" (Egyptian malt beer), which is the password. After reading through the diary, he discovers no new information in regards to Pat's gender, and finally snaps.

Kyle calls Pat on his/her radio show, and tells him/her to meet him at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum if Pat ever wants to see his/her laptop again. Pat arrives to find Kyle dressed exactly like him/her. Kyle demands that Pat remove his/her clothes, and Pat runs off into a Ween concert. After Kyle corners him/her on a catwalk, Pat falls and his/her clothes get caught on a hook, tearing off his/her pants and lowering him/her in front of the cheering audience (not revealing his/her sex to Kyle or the viewers). Kyle is subsequently taken away by security guards. Pat then runs to see Chris just as he/she is leaving on an ocean liner, and the two get married in an epilogue.



The film was written by Sweeney, Jim Emerson, Sweeney's friend from their days with The Groundlings,[2] and Sweeney's former husband Stephen Hibbert.[2] While at the Groundlings it had been Emerson who had suggested Pat, at the time a "character based on annoying co-workers who don't leave you alone", become androgynous.[2]

Three months before the film's release, Sweeney commented on her initial reluctance to do a film based on Pat:[3]

I resisted it completely. I just didn't know how we could make it last for two hours. But 20th Century Fox was really keen; our producer was really keen. So we thought, O.K., we'll write the script. And after three months, we fell madly in love with the script. Unfortunately, Fox did not.

Touchstone Pictures decided to produce the film after Fox bowed out.[3]

Quentin Tarantino admitted being an uncredited writer of the script.[4][5]


It's Pat received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and has a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 reviews.[6]

Variety magazine called the film "shockingly unfunny", noting that Sweeney had "perversely turned the relatively harmless TV character into a boorish, egotistical creep for the bigscreen"; the film's "only really funny bit is Sexual Personae author Camille Paglia, deftly parodying herself, commenting on the significance of Pat's androgyny."[7]

The film opened in only three cities[8] (33 theaters[1]). Its total gross was just $60,822, although this figure has been disputed by cinema historian Greg Gaul of Princeton University.[citation needed] In an unfortunate coincidence, the weekend that it opened to box office failure was also the weekend that Sweeney received serious news about a family member. According to Sweeney, "The movie bombed on Friday, and on Sunday [her brother] Mike called saying he was very sick and didn't have insurance." The subsequent events, including the death of her brother, became the subject of her one-woman show and film God said "Ha!".[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

It's Pat was a multiple nominee at the 16th Golden Raspberry Awards, though the film's cast and crew lost in every category to Showgirls:


No soundtrack album was released. The songs from It's Pat are listed below as shown within the film's credits:[citation needed]

  1. "It's Pat Theme" - Christina Zander, Julia Sweeney, Cheryl Hardwick
  2. "Walz Pompadour" (written by Tom Elliot)
  3. "Poem of Crickets" (written by 長沢 勝俊 (Katsutoshi Nagasawa)
  4. "Delta Swelter" - Gary Fletcher, Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Bob Townsend
  5. "The Cool Look" - Johnny Hawksworth
  6. "Brain Women" - Mark Mothersbaugh
  7. "Everybody Loves Somebody" - Julia Sweeney
  8. "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" - Aerosmith
  9. "Le Freak" - Julia Sweeney
  10. "Paero" - Phillippe Lhommt, Jacques Mercier
  11. "Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese" - Ween
  12. "How's It Gonna Be" - Dead Milkmen
  13. "Bring It to Me" - Collective Thoughts
  14. "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" - Ween
  15. "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" - Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. ^ a b It's Pat at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ a b c Pat's World — It's Funny Business, Hard Work And A Little Too Much Attention For Julia Sweeney, a January 1993 article from The Seattle Times
  3. ^ a b Up From the Tube, but Then Down the Drain, a May 1994 article from The New York Times
  4. ^ Peary, Gerald (1998). Quentin Tarantino: interviews. United States of America: University Press of Missouri. pp. xviii, 126. ISBN 1-57806-050-8, 1-57806-050-6 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  5. ^ "Interview: Quentin Tarantino". Playboy. November 1994. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  6. ^ It's Pat at Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ Joe Leydon (Aug 25, 1994). "Review of It's Pat". Variety magazine. 
  8. ^ How I Spent My Cancer Vacation, a December 1996 article from Time magazine
  9. ^ At Home with Julia Sweeney: Year of the Circling Wagons, a February 1999 article from The New York Times

External links[edit]