Papi Chulo

Written and directed by the Irish filmmaker John Butler, Papi Chulo is an entertaining comedy drama about an unlikely friendship between a white weatherman and a Hispanic day labor and attempts to provide a glimpse into the intersection between two different cultures. The story revolves around a depressed local TV station weatherman in Los Angeles named Sean, played by the handsome Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer, who is forced to go on leave after an on-air meltdown. Not knowing what to do with his spare time and still recovering from becoming a newly single gay man, he is determined to repaint his patio after moving a large tree and eventually resorts to hiring a Hispanic day labor waiting for work outside of the nearby hardware store. Over the course of the movie, Sean tries desperately to become friends with Ernesto, played by Alejandro Patiño, despite the language and cultural barriers between the very different men. Ernesto is befuddled by Sean’s desire to do activities with Ernesto that very much resemble things to do on a date. There are a few scenes that are ridiculous in their appearance that make for funny moments, including both of the men rowing on a lake, going for a hike, and going to parties together. Towards the end of the film, we learn that Sean is in somewhat more of a mental breakdown that first realized because of a recent tragedy, and his bond with Ernesto is primarily the result of him being scared to be alone. Overall, I found it to be a movie that has the best intentions of telling a heartwarming story of unexpected friendship that occasionally borders into cringe-worthy moments reminiscent of the criticized 2018 movie Green Book, but, for the most part, it is a endearing film exploring the comedy and drama of everyday life.

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