Papi Chulo

When: Thursday, October 3rd @ 7:00 pm
Where: Row House Cinema (4115 Butler Street)
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

About the Film

An Audience Award winner for best feature at Newport Beach Film Festival, Papi Chulo is set in sunny LA where handsome TV weatherman Sean (Matt Bomer) has an on-air meltdown while predicting a California heatwave. After he’s forced to take some needed R&R, Sean — who’s trying to recover from a bad break up — finds himself alone in his expensive hillside home.

To pass the time he begins a renovation project, hiring Ernesto (Alejandro Patiño), a 50-year-old Mexican migrant, to repair and paint his deck. But soon Sean begins to ignore the deck in favor of a possible friendship with the older man. It doesn’t help that neither can communicate well in the other’s language.

Boomer and Patiño make an entertaining, mismatched duo: an affluent, lonely gay man and a straight, middle-aged laborer with wife and five children. As their friendship grows, the film’s charms shine as sunny as the LA weather, until a darker third act makes the story more affecting and emotional than expected. In those later scenes Bomer shines even brighter. Alongside him, Patiño makes the perfect partner. His performance requires him to hit a very different pitch, and he nails it.

Beautifully written and sensitively directed by John Butler, Papi Chulo connects its story of individual loneliness to larger cultural issues. Yet for any heartbreaking moments, Papi Chulo is a charming, well-acted film about one lonely man who needs a friend, and the moments in which he begins to find one.

This tale of an unlikely friendship is a small, honest movie with a big heart.

Director: John Butler

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