"Patti Rocks" starts off like "The Night of the Zombie Sexist Pigs," but it's just "She's Gotta Have It" for white girls.
Patti Rocks is as solid as her surname -- a sensible free spirit who gives this tough-talking and provocative adult comedy its focus. She is a man-wary Minnesotan who jeers at the double standards set by men. "Just because I have sex when I want to doesn't make me a slut," she says in a showdown with her boyfriend.
He's a prime porker named Billy Regis -- a testosterone grenade so obsessed with sexual conquests he can barely think straight. Naturally, he hasn't told Patti about his wife and kids. Billy is Stanley Kowalski's hick cousin, and he's delighted with his double dealings until Patti phones to tell him that she's pregnant. When she refuses to "take care of things," he decides to tell her the truth about himself, persuading old friend Eddie Hassit to lend moral support. And so the two set off on an all-night drive to Patti's house.
They suck brewskis and run over a skunk, but mostly they talk smut. Billy is a walking thesaurus of slang for female body parts. This painfully drawn-out scene is so sordid you want to go to the nearest curb and scrape off your shoes. But it's clearly meant to disgust the audience, as written by director David Burton Morris and cast members Karen Landry (Patti), Chris Mulkey (Billy) and John Jenkins (Eddie).
It does set up the movie's second chapter, in which we finally see the mysterious Patti. We've imagined a tart in a messy bed, smelling of Forever Krystle. But Patti has a sweet, neat, modest little apartment and she comes to the door in a fuzzy chenille bathrobe. And the language becomes more or less civil. Billy, a coward under all that faux machismo, is afraid to tell Patti that he's already taken. Eddie, a relatively nice guy, reverently takes her aside to break the news. And guess what? She couldn't care less. "Marriage is fattening ... and you have to be faithful," she says.
"Patti Rocks" may be an acquired taste. You could think of it as the antithesis of "Fatal Attraction." Patti Rocks would thank Michael Douglas for the memories, and get herself a good obstetrician.
Patti Rocks, at the Dupont, is rated R and contains extreme profanity.