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Chasing Papi


Chasing Papi


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There's no shortage of chasing in the frenetic comedy Chasing Papi, even though the titular "Papi" spends much of the film in a tranquilizer-induced coma. He doesn't miss much. Short for "Papi Chula," which roughly translates as "mack daddy," the name refers to Eduardo Verástegui, a jet-setting executive so attractive to women that, in one throwaway gag, even a nun considers giving up her vows for him. Had she made good on the notion, she would have had to wait in line. Happily dating three women in three different cities, Verástegui already has his hands full, though his lascivious lifestyle catches up with him quickly when tempestuous Miami resident Sofia Vergara, brainy Chicagoan Roselyn Sanchez, and sophisticated New Yorker Jaci Velasquez all simultaneously converge on his Los Angeles home. Much screaming and falling down follows, and soon the women are toting Verástegui's unconscious body around town as they attempt to elude the police and a pair of hapless drug dealers (Freddy Rodríguez and D.L. Hughley). The cast is composed largely of established Latino TV stars (Vergara) and pop idols (Verástegui and Velasquez), and much of Chasing Papi seems based on the notion that their fans will adore simply seeing them in a movie. But the fun wears thin once it becomes clear that the only trick the film has to offer is footage of the women fighting and bonding over their shared love of the handsome but uncharismatic Verástegui. Veteran television director Linda Mendoza (The Bernie Mac Show, Grounded For Life) keeps Chasing Papi slick and fast, using fluffy '50s and '60s comedies as her model. A mincing Paul Rodriguez makes a poor substitute for Tony Randall, however, and there's something amiss when a Pomeranian provides the film's only laugh.