Papi Chulo: Film Review

Papi Chulo was on my list of films to check out at the 2018 London Film Festival – especially after I did the red carpet for it – but I couldn’t fit it in so I’m glad it’s finally getting a release over here. It’s a wonderful film with a terrific performance from Matt Bomer.

Bomer stars as Sean, a TV weatherman who has a meltdown and begins crying during a live broadcast. He is made to take time off work, but that is no good for Sean – he is lonely, nursing a broken heart, and at a loss for what to with himself. He decides he needs his decking painted, so he hires Ernesto (Alejandro Patino), a middle-aged Latino who can barely speak English. Despite the language barrier, Sean and Ernesto strike up an unlikely friendship, with Sean paying Ernesto to spend time doing fun activities with him rather than the work.

Bomer is outstanding in this. Papi Chulo, which means Pimp Daddy in Spanish, is the perfect star vehicle for him to show off his talents, as he’s usually cast in supporting roles. Sean has escalating emotional and mental problems and Bomer portrays this brilliantly. At first, you think Sean is just desperate for love and company but then there’s a twist (which I won’t spoil) that makes his story even more tragic and heartbreaking.

Patino adds a nice comedy touch to proceedings, with a constantly confused look on his face about what Sean is saying, doing and wants from him. His phone conversations to his wife about Sean are excellent. Wendi McLendon-Covey was also a welcome addition to the cast as Sean’s boss.

Papi Chulo starts off as a lovely, light-hearted culture clash/buddy comedy but it becomes far more moving and sad than I expected. There is much more meat on its bones. Definitely worth checking out.

Available for digital download from iTunes, Sky Store, Amazon and more from Monday 22nd July 

(Rating: 4/5)


My pictures of Matt Bomer at the LFF premiere of Papi Chulo

My interview with Matt Bomer at the LFF premiere of Papi Chulo

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