‘Papi Chulo’ Review: An Embarrassingly Sweet Tale Of Friendship And Grief

Sean (Matt Bomer) is a TV weatherman still recovering from the end of a relationship. After an on-air meltdown he is forced to take some leave to recuperate. During this time, finding himself lonely and in need of some housework, he drives by the hardware store and picks up a Mexican day labourer, Ernesto (Alejandro Patiño). Sean pursues an awkward friendship with Ernesto, but it soon becomes clear that the men have very different perspectives on their relationship.

Papi Chulo is a comedy of awkwardness. Sean is a trainwreck in social situations, and much of the humour comes from his obliviousness regarding how inappropriate he is being. The two men are separated by class, culture, age and most importantly language. The joy of the film is seeing the two men overcome these barriers and discover a real friendship in each other.

As the film progresses darker themes become the focus. It’s a film about loss and self loathing. Matt Bomer is gorgeous and nervously charming in the film and yet his discomfort is effortlessly convincing. He carries a fragility with his

Some of the comedy is a little old fashioned, deriving laughs from the eccentricity of it’s gay main character or homoerotic situations the simple Mexican laborer finds himself in, and his ensuing discomfort. But for the most part the comedy comes from the clash between these two worlds and is driven by it’s two humorous leads.

Papi Chulo is a very funny but painfully poignant tale of isolation and friendship.

Four Stars

Papi Chulo will recieve it’s UK Premier at the London Film Festival on Friday the 12th of October at the VUE Leciester Square.

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