Chasing Papi


Roselyn Sanchez as Lorena
Sofía Vergara as Cici
Jaci Velasquez as Patricia
Eduardo Verástegui as Papi
Lisa Vidal as Carmen
D.L. Hughley as Rodrigo
Freddy Rodríguez as Victor
Paul Rodriguez as Costas Delgado

Thomas Fuentes (Eduardo Verastegui) is a troubled man. He is an advertising executive that must travel the country making sales calls and his stress does not come from his job; it comes from the three women who he is seeing in three different cities. In Miami, he has Cici (Sofia Vergara), a fiery dancer that embodies passion. In Chicago, there is Lorena (Roselyn Sanchez), a mousey lawyer that reads poetry and fulfills his intellectual pleasures. And in New York, there is Patricia (Jaci Velasquez), who provides him with sophistication.

All of the women warn him of the trouble he will be in if he is seeing other women, and that is his problem. He loves each one of them for what they are and he has some mystical aura that attracts the women to him. He returns to his home in Los Angeles and collapses from the strain of juggling three women. Each one of the ladies is watching the same televised horoscope show, however, and decide that they are destined to go to Los Angeles and be with Papi.

From there the movie really begins and turns into a Latina version of “Weekend at Bernies” with a drugged unconscious Papi and each of the ladies discovering something about themselves that liberates them. It is often low brow humor, but it is entertaining. The situations are unbelievable though Vergara and Sanchez do a good job of keeping the movie flowing and vibrant. Jaci Velasquez seems a bit miscast as a woman that would embody what Papi would seek in a woman of society. She comes across more as a whiney brat and gives the weakest performance of the three female leads.

Papi is the stereotypical macho latin man with a sensitive side. I can almost see the producers at Antonio Banderas’ feet begging him to be in the part written for him, but ultimately, it was unnecessary because Eduardo Verastegui comes across very well in the roll. He even looks like a slightly younger Antonio and the movie feels like an early Pedro Almodovar movie with Banderas in it.

The film is shot well and the music blends into the movie without overpowering it. The main problem is that very little of the movie, other than an advertising executive having a different woman in each of three cities, is believable. The movie doesn’t suggest that it is anything more than a light hearted farce so the absurdity is understandable but a little more realism would have helped.

Who should see this movie? Anyone looking for a nice escape from reality while watching several lovely ladies break free of self imposed limitations will find exactly what they are looking for here. The transition in each of the women makes the movie appeal to the “girl power”crowd, although the way they fawn over Papi will make them cringe. Action lovers will be pleased that there are a couple of car chases, since they will only be at the movie at the insistence of their girlfriends. If you are looking to engage your mind, you will have to look elsewhere. Overall it is an enjoyable film that will not stick with you longer than it takes to watch it.