Papi Chulo

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

Whilst the sun blazes endlessly across the azure Californian skies, the breezy life of handsome weatherman Sean crumbles. He befriends a bemused but unassuming, kind-natured, older Latino workman to paint his hilltops home and save him from despair.

At first, Sean engages Ernesto to paint the deck but immediately finds the older man’s “que sera, sera” attitude a comfort and deploys him as a companion. Ernesto doesn’t speak a word of English and Sean can’t understand Spanish. But, the two muddle along for a while until Ernesto stays away and Sean spirals out of control reliving and eventually facing his loss.





Director: John Butler

Cast: Matt Bomer, Alejandro Patino

Country: USA, Ireland



“This seemingly lightweight musing on splitting up with a long-term partner takes some time, but eventually, becomes a profound reflection on loneliness and the mind-altering effects of loss which linger long after the closing credits.”





Papi Chulo doesn’t fall into the trap of portraying Sean as lascivious or Ernesto as homophobic in a relationship that could be translated as both. Nor does it succumb to predictable humour over the juxtaposition of different men from different cultures, although it does face these differences. Both characters are well-rounded and endearing and their common humanity and humour win through. This seemingly lightweight musing on splitting up with a long-term partner takes some time, but eventually, becomes a profound reflection on loneliness and the mind-altering effects of loss which linger long after the closing credits.


Reviewed London Film Festival October 2018 Now showing @BFIFlare  #BFIFlare

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