DIRECTOR: john butler (handsome devil, the bachelor weekend)
STARRING: matt bomer, alejandro patino, Elena Campbell-Martinez and Wendi McLendon-Covey
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A lonely TV weatherman strikes up an unusual friendship with a middle-aged Latino migrant worker.
An uncertain world calls for cinema. Stories that will transport, comfort and entertain us. Even though Papi Chulo is a feel good film that follows a pretty beaten cinematic track, it's still thoroughly entertaining with all the warm and fuzzies you need.
After a newly-single TV weatherman is put on leave following an on-air meltdown, he directs his energy into home improvement and hires a middle-aged Latino day laborer named Ernesto to help. Despite a language barrier and having nothing in common, the two men develop an unexpected but profound friendship.
The idea of Papi Chulo is a fairly familiar one. Two people from opposite worlds thrown together and the effects, both good and bad, that they have on one another as that friendship blossoms.
Although we’ve seen this idea play out before, the themes explored and the representation that it gives to those not often represented on film is not only welcomed but refreshing.
The first couple of acts are thoroughly entertaining as Sean and Ernesto stumble across language and cultural barriers. However, in the third act the film stumbles slightly as the film fixates too heavily on Sean's internal struggle without Ernesto as a counter balance to that.
The duo of Matt Boomer and Alejandro Patino are a perfect pair, with Boomer bringing a powerfully nuanced performance of raw emotion.
Even though it slightly loses direction during the concluding act of the film, Papi Chulo is a sweet film of friendship across the cultural divide.