I have a rendezvous with Patti Cake$ (Fox Searchlight, 8.18). I missed it in Park City. I missed it in Cannes. I missed a 6.22 screening on the Fox lot. But I will see it soon, I trust. And I will surrender myself to the New Jersey-ness of it, as I was born and raised and suffered through years of adolescent angst in Westfield, New Jersey. Westfield was and is a comfy whitebread hamlet while Patti Cake$ is set in the grim streets of Bergen County — a far cry. But I lived in North Bergen in ’08 and ’09 and suffered once again due to the grotesque antics of the Hispanic Party Elephant, who lived one floor above. I don’t hate New Jersey but it has always brought me some kind of pain or lethargy or discomfort. I’ll never be at peace with it, but I shouldn’t blame Patti Cake$ for being a New Jersey thang. The word all along has been highly positive. (Here’s a good piece by a fellow New Jerseyan.) It’s said to be a spiritual descendant of Hustle & Flow and 8 Mile, both of which I loved. So I’m ready to do it.