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GeoReview: Chasing Papi
by Clayton Ruley
 

Three women surprise the man they love only to find each other, a bag full of money and a lot of craziness in Chasing Papi, the critically acclaimed movie featuring Latin lovelies Roselyn Sanchez as lawyer Lorena, Sofia Vergara as stylist Cici and singer Jaci Velasquez as proper Patricia and newcomer Eduardo Verastegui as Tomas “Papi” Fuentes.

The movie set mainly in Los Angeles is a story of discovering self through adversity and chasing love through many ups and downs.

Tomas, an ad executive in LA has three women he visits in three different cities. Cici lives in Miami, and she’s as hot as the weather. Played by the voluptuous Vergara, Cici is the around the way Mami, quick with sex appeal, insults and intuition. Chicago bred Lorena, played by Sanchez, is a strong dedicated lawyer searching for justice, equality for the underprivileged and a little spice in her dull but important life. The spoiled Patricia from New York sees “Papi” for Prince Charming, her knight ready to sweep her off her feet.

There is action, sexual tension, and colorfully written interaction between the three main characters that not only learn to deal with each other but love each other and each other’s faults. You almost forget the man involved watching them run around the city chasing love and being chased. It’s a funny look at what individual things will make you find yourself.

Throughout the film there is a Latin feel and rightfully so, being directed by Linda Mendoza, the Director of Photography being Xavier Perez Grobet, the story being written by Laura Angelica Simon and Steven Antin and with the musical score done by Emilio Estefan, Jr.. The cut shots were great and they in particular did a fantastic job with using cut screens to show the rapid movement of Papi and the women. One scene in particular has Papi in a airport when women from everywhere begin to call him. The shots come from every angle and just when he thinks one is gone another pops up. It’s a course in simplicity does wonders.

The movie also does a great job of showing the Latin comedy intricacies from the use of Spanglish and going in and out with English to culture myths and traditions. The movie executive produced by Tajamika Paxton, and produced by Simon, Tracey Trench and movie vet Forest Whitaker is significant in that it is of the first, if not the first, Latin American based comedies done by Latin Americans (with the help of a few of their African cousins) to get major backing and distribution from a major movie house (20th Century Fox).

We need to see more minorities in leading roles and less as eye candy, although these women are each dynamically beautiful. Verastegui in his first English starring role isn’t in acting in an award winning fashion but plays a nice fourth fiddle. Lisa Vidal plays Officer Rivera, a good cop looking for a big bust. D.L. Hughley lends his services as Rodrigo, a suit-wearing thug looking for a specific financial pickup in a brown bag.

While lacking depth the movie plays like a 80’s movie, one in which sex was mentioned but not brought up every time you saw a prominent member of the opposite sex. It went unmentioned and that created an environment where you saw beautiful people everywhere in interaction. Good for a catching light comedy with a basic premise, Chasing Papi is right for the family or just sexy enough for you and a friend.

I’ll give it 3 globes. The story could have been a little more believable and they could have gotten more in depth as mentioned earlier. Papi could have had more interaction with the ladies and the subplots could have gone through more ups and downs before coming to a climax. Overall though it was a nice effort that people should see when the don’t want too hot and sticky or Disney!

 
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