Review: PAPI CHULO Shows How Good Intentions Can Go A Long Way

FIRST IMPRESSION

For the most part, Papi Chulo was a satisfying dramedy when it isn't being overly reliant on stereotypes and archetypes.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Papi Chulo is a new dramedy film written and directed by John Butler and starring Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño. The movie is about a lonely weatherman who, suffering from depression, forms an unusual relationship with a Latino migrant worker. It debuted at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

This film’s story ultimately boils down to a relatively conventional buddy comedy, but it is done in a way that feels so different and unusual that it really works. There are a few moments that go into Driving Miss Daisy territory, but for the most part, the movie’s positive intentions are actually delivered upon.

Part of the reason the film works so well is that the protagonist is a very complex and nuanced character. It will be hard not to feel bad for Sean and root for him to get better. Although you will likely find yourself frustrated with some of his actions, this makes the character feel all the more real and approachable. On the other hand, Ernesto is a more archetypal and less complex character, although not offensively so.

The movie has a ton of heart as a result of the effective character development and story. The best parts of the film are those in which we see the two leads interacting and Sean growing from his experiences. Again, this definitely falls within some of the more borderline-racist tropes in the book, but the movie does it in a way that feels natural and not too over-the-top.

papi chulo bomer

There is also a good deal of humor in the film, although it is nowhere near as consistently effective as the heartwarming moments. Some of the humor does feel mildly insensitive, and those are the unfunny jokes. However, when the movie goes for something more wholesome, it will be enough to make you smile and maybe even laugh out loud.

The most impressive part of the film is definitely the ensemble. Bomer and Patiño have great chemistry together despite the language barrier their characters have on-screen. They are able to handle both the comedic and the emotional moments with ease, both together and on their own. Bomer proves his ability to lead a movie with his turn, so hopefully he will continue to get more roles like this.

On a technical level, the film is pretty simple, but effective given that the movie is a comedy. Some of the cinematography in the film is excellent, with the composition of the frame being used often to create funny situations. The lighting is quite good as well, not having some of the oversaturation issues typical of comedies like this.

Overall, Papi Chulo was an enjoyable dramedy. Although it does have its fair share of issues, it does accomplish its goals in its short runtime and has some great performances to boot.

Papi Chulo opens in theaters on June 7.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Fargo | Installment 4: First Look | FX

It’s a multi-generational epic about America. Get a FIRST LOOK at the all-new installment of Fargo with the cast and creators. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy…

The Fight – Trailer (Official) • Now Streaming on Hulu

The Fight follows three tenacious ACLU lawyers as they defend human rights and freedoms in front of the highest court. Now streaming on Hulu. ABOUT THE FIGHT At a defining moment in American history, a scrappy team of heroic ACLU lawyers battles for abortion rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights and voting rights. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S…

Julie & The Phantoms Break Down ‘Flying Solo’ Rehearsal Scene | SHOT BY SHOT | Netflix

Watch as Madison Reyes, Charlie Gillespie, Owen Patrick Joyner, Jeremy Shada, & Jadah Marie from Julie & the Phantoms break down the 'Flying Solo' rehearsal scene, shot by shot. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and…

We lied to you about Away | Netflix

Can you spot the lie? Inspired by the new series Away, starring Hilary Swank, these 21 facts (and one lie) will surprise even the most dedicated Space fans! Watch Away, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80223762 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

Nocturne – Official Trailer

#WelcomeToTheBlumhouse #Nocturne Movie Nocturne is written and directed by Zu Quirke in her breakout feature debut. Starring Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, The Handmaid’s Tale, Player’s Table), Madison Iseman (Jumanji: The Next Level, Annabelle Comes Home), Jacques Colimon (The Society) and Ivan Shaw (Insecure, Casual). Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student…

We Are Who We Are: Meet the Characters | Caitlin, Richard, Danny, and Jenny | HBO

Jordan Kristine Seamón, Scott Mescudi, Spence Moore II, and Faith Alabi introduce you to their characters in the new series from Luca Guadagnino. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre #JordanKristineSeamón #KidCudi #SpenceMooreII #FaithAlabi Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are follows a group of…

Emily in Paris | Official Trailer | Netflix

Say oui to new possibilities! Emily in Paris, a new series from Creator of Sex and the City, Darren Star, premieres October 2. Only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…

Penis Superpower | Beth Stelling: Girl Daddy | HBO Max

Beth Stelling outlines the differences between penises and vaginas. Stream Girl Daddy now on HBO Max. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxYouTube Be the first to know more: HBO Max: https://hbom.ax/YT Like HBO Max on Facebook: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxFacebook Follow HBO Max on Twitter: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxTwitter Follow HBO Max on Instagram: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxInstagram About HBO Max: HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering with…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here