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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Chasing Papi (2003)

Tomas (to Lorena): Mi amor…I-I was just thinking about you.
(one minute later)
Tomas (to Patricia): Patricia..I-I-I was just thinking about you.
(yet another minute later)
Tomas: This can't be happening...
(Tomas peeks through doorhole and sees Cici)
Tomas: My God, it is happening.

- Tomas Fuentes (Eduardo Verástegui)

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: August 26, 2003

Stars: Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Jaci Velasquez, Eduardo Verástegui, Lisa Vidal
Other Stars: Maria Conchita Alonso, D.L. Hughley, Paul Rodriguez, Freddy Rodriguez, Carlos Ponce, Joy Enriquez, Walter Mercado, Christina Vidal, Sheila E., Laura Carrasco
Director: Linda Mendoza

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: PG for mild sensuality, language
Run Time: 01h:20m:04s
Release Date: August 26, 2003
UPC: 024543086147
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+A-A+ B+

DVD Review

Good music, beautiful women and screwball comedy: these are three ingredients that go oh, so good together, and that's what you get in Chasing Papi, a disarmingly wacky, suitably silly and slyly sexy slice of romantic slapstick arriving on DVD just in the nick of time to combat the late summer doldrums.

Tomas Fuentes (Eduardo Verástegui) is a terminally charming marketing director/ladies' man who can't seem to break the habit of wooing more than one paramour. As we peek into his little black book, let's see…there's Cici (Sofia Vergara), a hot cocktail waitress based in Miami who aspires to be a dancer. Over on the East Coast awaits Patricia (Jaci Velasquez), a poor little rich girl looking to break from her Big Apple life of privilege and her domineering mama (Maria Conchita Alonso). Last but not least in the land of Wrigley resides bachelorette numero three, Lorena (Roselyn Sanchez), a sophisticated Chicago lawyer whose serious, hair-tightly-pulled-back demeanor hides a woman of true beauty, both inside and out.

For a while, Tomas is living the romantic life of Riley, effortlessly juggling the beauties like an esteemed circus performer shrugging off a safety net; thanks to the enormous distance between all three and a flawless knack for incorporating frequent rendezvous in between duties for "Momento" perfume, lovin' couldn't get any better. But the jet set routine is beginning to catch up to the pretty boy. Visions of the girls in other faces along with the Latina equivalent of the boogieman send our hunk scurrying to the nearest doctor in search of what's ailing him. Hello?!

Taking medical advice to heart, Tomas is all set to take a sabbatical from the chase upon returning home to Los Angeles. But thanks to certain circumstances, our trio of temptresses individually high-tail it to the West Coast to surprise their little "Papi Chulo," only to wind up meeting each other head on. Discovering the object of their mutual affection is nowhere to be found, a round of near catfighting ensues. When verbal fireworks cease, the girls manage to agree on one thing: "If a man cheats on you, he doesn't respect you,", proclaims Cici, recalling advice from her mama. All three proceed to wipe their hands of the conniving cutie and go their separate ways. For about, oh, 25-30 seconds. Coinciding with Tomas' return, his paramours arrive one by one, demanding explanations causing our accidental playboy to nervously pop too many tranquilizers and collapse (and did I mention he downed them with scotch?).

The ladies join forces to transport the pooped Papi to a nearby motel so they can continue their mutual confrontation upon his awakening (given his self-induced condition, I would have pointed the car in the direction of the nearest emergency room) and discover they're being tailed by a mystery lady (Lisa Vidal), which sparks off a chain reaction of obstacles including a case of mistaken identity, two none-too-bright gangsters (D.L. Hughey, Freddy Rodriguez), one surprise kidnapping, and an old-fashioned chase around town.

Okay, did I leave anything out? Wait! Almost forgot! Oh, the doggie! Patricia's precious pooch, Fifi (complete with matching outfits)!

Breezier than a convertible ride with the top down, Chasing Papi proves to be more than mere eye candy, thanks to the talented 1-2-3 punch of Sanchez, Vergara, and Velasquez who prove to be as comedically savvy as they are beautiful. Verástegui is also captivating in his film debut as the befuddled lover; I really liked the twist on his character. Definitely not cast from the same mode as your typical player, just a passionate guy who loves all kinds of women but cursed with conflict (not to mention good looks). An extensive supporting cast featuring some of the best Latino character actors in the biz (Vidal, Six Feet Under's Freddy Rodriguez, Alonso, Ian Gomez, and an uncredited extended cameo from comedian Paul Rodriguez) and the always funny D.L. Hughley. Guest musical appearances from Christina Vidal and Sheila E. & The E-Train provide tasty treats on an already delectable comedic dish.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: Image-wise, Roselyn comes across as a perfect.. What? Oh, the image of the DVD, I beg your pardon.

Positively beaming with color with only a smidgen of anomalies (brief instances of edge enhancement, very slight grain in a couple of interior shots), and sharpness that hits the spot. Another first-class transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Can I get an amen? Truly one of the most creative, electric and imaginative mixes I've ever experienced. Almost non-stop activity coming from the rears throughout, with the rarely used technique of isolated vocals on certain song selections, which really keeps the (already stellar) center and front channels from being overburdened. Dynamic bass, crystal clear dialogue, spacious resonance, etc. In short, perfecto!

Audio Transfer Grade: A+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Linda Mendoza, Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Eduardo Verástegui, cinematographer Xaiver Pérez Grobet
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Todo (Everything) Papi Featurette
  2. Music Promo
  3. Chasing Papi Music Video
  4. Papi Lite (Outtakes/Bloopers)
Extras Review: Something tells me that Fox felt this film got undeservedly shortchanged. So it's very cool that a generous assortment of supplemental goods are included. Tops amongst them is Todo (Everything) Papi, an infectious 20-minute featurette that moves at a lightning pace and covers virtually every aspect of the film (casting, scoring, the animated bits that open/pepper the first quarter, etc.). By comparison, the combination Spanish/English commentary track (subtitled for the Español-impaired) teaming director Linda Mendoza, Vergara, Sanchez, Verástegui, and cinematographer Xaiver Pérez Grobet is slight. More of a celebratory party/memory lane wax-a-thon than a technical discussion, it's still an engaging listen if only to appreciate what a great time the participants had during filming.

Papi Lite (a 4-minute outtake/blooper reel that elicits more smiles than laughs), a plug for the film's soundtrack, the ho-hum Chasing Papi music video with Huey Dunbar/Fat Joe, and the film's theatrical trailer complete the package.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

With an electric, unceasingly fast pace that recalls the likes of What's Up, Doc? and Bringing Up Baby, spiced with its own brand of Latino charm and an enchantingly talented cast, Chasing Papii's unfortunate box office status deserves a reversal of fortune on DVD; it's a hidden comic gem.

 


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