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It's Pat

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It's Pat is an American 1994 comedy film directed by Adam Bernstein and starring Julia Sweeney, Dave Foley, Charles Rocket, and Kathy Griffin.


Pat Riley is an obnoxious job-hopper who is searching for a steady foundation in life. Pat encounters Chris, whose gender is also unrevealed. The two fall in love, and get engaged. Meanwhile, Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen, develops an unhealthy obsession with unveiling Pat's gender, and begins stalking Pat. Kyle sends in a tape of Pat performing karaoke to a TV show called America's Creepiest People, bringing Pat to the attention of the band Ween, who feature Pat in one of their performances; Pat plays the tuba. When Pat learns that Ween intended to only use Pat for one gig, Pat breaks up with Chris.

Pat discovers that their laptop (containing their diary) has been stolen. Later, it turns out that Kyle stole Pat's diary. Kyle tries to coerce 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 to type in in every single word in the dictionary.

Meanwhile, a gang of thugs intent on discovering Pat's gender begin harassing Pat, and Pat becomes distraught over their androgynous nature. Pat goes to complain to Kathy, a friend who is a therapist and host of a radio talk show. When Pat gives acerbic reactions to call-in listeners, the station fires Kathy and replaces her with Pat.

Kyle ends up going through the entire dictionary until he reaches the last word, "zythum" (an 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 Pat's radio show, and tells Pat to meet him at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, stating that this is the only chance for Pat to retrieve the laptop. Pat arrives to find Kyle dressed exactly like Pat. Kyle demands that Pat strip naked, and 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 not revealed to Kyle nor the viewer. Kyle is subsequently taken away by security guards. Pat then runs to see Chris, just as Chris is leaving on an ocean liner. In an epilogue, Pat and Chris get married.

During the end credits, Kathy is now hosting her radio show again and the first caller is none other than Kyle, whose obsession with Pat has now officially driven him to cross-dressing.



The film was written by Sweeney, Jim Emerson (Sweeney's friend from their days with The Groundlings,[1]), and Sweeney's former husband, Stephen Hibbert.[1] While at the Groundlings, Emerson suggested that the character Pat, at the time a "character based on annoying co-workers who don't leave you alone", be made androgynous.[1]

Three months before the film's release, Sweeney commented on her initial reluctance to do a film based on Pat:[2]

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, OK, 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.[2]

Quentin Tarantino revealed that he was an uncredited writer on the script.[3][4]


It's Pat was universally panned by critics, and has a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews.[5]

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."[6]

The film opened in only three cities[7] (33 theaters[8]). Its total gross was just $60,822. As a result, the film was pulled from theaters after its opening weekend.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 Up From the Tube, but Then Down the Drain, a May 1994 article from The New York Times
  3. Peary, Gerald (1998). Quentin Tarantino: interviews. United States of America: University Press of Missouri, page xviii, 126. ISBN 1-57806-050-8. 
  4. "Interview: Quentin Tarantino".. Playboy (November 1994). Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  5. Template:Rotten-tomatoes
  6. Joe Leydon (Aug 25, 1994). "Review of It's Pat"..
  7. How I Spent My Cancer Vacation, a December 1996 article from Time magazine
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mojo

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