Chasing Papi

on April 16, 2003 by Paul Clinton
“Chasing Papi” is an insouciant but familiar farce that clearly panders to Latino wallets. The jokes in this marshmallow don't crystallize the way they do in a top-flight gender-war comedy, but watching three sexy women chase down their three-timing man has its modest pleasures.

After a breezy animated fantasy sequence opens “Chasing Papi,” we're introduced to Lorena (Roselyn Sanchez), a go-go Chicago attorney; Cici (Sofia Vergara), a hot-tamale Miami cocktail waitress; and Patricia (Jaci Velasquez), a New York princess. They discover that their Papi (Eduardo Verastegui) is cheating on them when they all show up in his bedroom to surprise him by wearing the same lingerie he gave to all three.

The three actresses driving the light farce are sexy, sporadically funny and never press too hard with their line readings. Vergara, a newcomer from Columbia, radiates enough heat to ensure she'll be given more roles. She's cute without being cutesy. Sanchez has some of the funniest moments; she's a gifted comedienne who slings her lines at the rest of the cast. Velasquez is the weakest of the three.

“Chasing Papi's” script, credited to four writers, uses all the old tricks--garish outfits, wacky slapstick, a beauty pageant and even a motorcycle chase sequence--to poke laughs out of the audience. But director Linda Mendoza keeps the movie on track, skillfully cutting away from sequences before they drone on too long. Starring Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Jaci Velasquez and Eduardo Verastegui. Directed by Linda Mendoza. Written by Laura Angelica Simon, Steve Antin, Alison Balian and Liz Sarnoff. Produced by Laura Angelica Simon, Tracey Trench and Forest Whitaker. A Fox release. Comedy. Rated PG for mild sensuality and language. Running time: 79 min

Tags: Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Jaci Velasquez, Eduardo Verastegui, Linda Mendoza, Laura Angelica Simon, Steve Antin, Alison Balian, Liz Sarnoff, Tracey Trench, Forest Whitaker, beauty pageant, New York, war, Latino, romance

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