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Chasing Papi
2003 - PG-13 - 92 Mins.
Director: Linda Mendoza
Producer: Laura Angelica Simon, Tracey Trench, Forest Whitaker
Written By: Laura Angelica Simon, Steve Antin, Alison Balian, Liz Sarnoff
Starring: Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Jaci Velasquez, Eduardo Verastegui, Lisa Vidal, D.L. Hughley, Freddy Rodriguez, Paul Rodriguez
Review by: Carl Langley

I have 3 girlfriends and it burns when I pee, what do you suggest?
Chasing Papi is a light-hearted, harmless comedy that fills its potential bubble to the max before it can burst, but sadly its circumference has no range or depth. The Spanish film features three gorgeous Latina women, not to mention two other exquisite ladies in supporting roles. These women are used to cover up the plot’s barrenness, which cleverly almost works. Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, and Jaci Velasquez, Lisa Vidal, and Maria Conchita Alonso are all jaw droppers. But beauty cannot outsmart brains as many flat, hackneyed films have proven before.

The three heroines are all in love with Thomas Fuentes (Eduardo Verastegui), aka Papi. Papi is dating all three and uses his advertising business trips as excuses to travel to different cities to visit each girl. We first meet Cici (Sofia Vergara), a bartender in the city of Miami, who seems the most controlling at first, but as the story rolls on, her opponents obliterate her domination. Lorena, a lawyer in Chicago, is the second girlfriend introduced. Lorena (Roselyn Sanchez) is a sophisticated woman, unleashed at the sight of her man. Finally, Papi visits Patricia (Jaci Velasquez), a spoiled, immature brat that resides in New York. The most irritating of them all, Patricia flees from her “rough” life at home in hopes of marrying Papi.

The three perilous women decide to pop up in Papi’s bedroom dressed in their new scantily clad lingerie (given as a gift by Papi) after following the advice of some unrelated astrologist on television. The women are shocked that Papi is missing in action and to discover they are not Papi’s only lady friend. They plot together and all show up later when Papi is home, giving him an anxiety attack, leaving him unconscious.

The plot makes a sudden nonsensical turn about here. Any guy will lose interest in the story and continue to lust over the three ladies baring as much skin that a PG-13 film will allow. Any girl with any sense at all, will notice the abrupt foolishness and will have a blasé mind within minutes. Waiting for Papi to come back, the girls get involved in stolen money, which is investigated by an FBI agent (Lisa Vidal) trailing them. They also go undercover and enlist Lorena as a pageant contestant so they can stay in a luxurious hotel, which leads to exotic dances of the sort. Meanwhile, two hoodlums (Freddy Rodriguez and D.L. Hughley) who think the girls are in possession of the dough will do anything to track it down. Whether all this hoopla was to keep the viewer interested is hard to tell, but either way, the subplots are unnecessary.

Four screenwriters are credited, but two of those, Laura Angelica Simon and Steve Antin, wrote the story in which this film was based off of. The other two, Alison Balian and Liz Sarnoff, have no previous motion picture screenwriting credits. Given this fact, the outcome of the film is not a washout, but it explains a lot.

Watching Chasing Papi recollected an assortment of other American motion pictures, mostly the exemplary quixotic adventures such as Miss Congeniality and the chimerical, yet unentertaining Charlie’s Angels. Roselyn Sanchez, who remarkably bares a profound resemblance to Sandra Bullock, poses as a contestant in a beauty pageant, much like her pseudo-twin in Miss Congeniality. The charm and elegance of the three stars stirs memories of Charlie’s Angels. The only difference there is the Chasing Papi heroines cannot do backbreaking stunts and kick the crap of anyone who dares enter their path. Maybe that characteristic would have made the film more fascinating.
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

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