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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Chasing Papi
Chasing Papi
Fox // PG // August 26, 2003
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 8, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Thin, fizzy and lightweight, "Chasing Papi" is a Latin-flavored romantic comedy that, despite having little in the way of story, still manages to charm, thanks to high-energy performances and a sense of good-natured fun. That, and it has a series of stunning Latin women as stars, including singer Joy Enriquez in a supporting role.

The film revolves around Tomas Fuentes (Eduardo Verástegui), a Latin businessman who makes women swoon. He manages to find himself in a romantic situation that requires some serious travel - he's fallen for three very different women - a dancer from Miami (Sofia Vergara), a lawyer from Chicago (Roselyn Sanchez) and a New York heiress (Jaci Velasquez). Despite threats of what might happen to him if he's found out by any one of the three ladies, it's obviously not long before all three stumble onto his plan.

The picture isn't much of one, although I suppose that, at 80 minutes, it's good that the movie doesn't go on any longer than necessary. The picture is bright, lively, high-energy and slapsticky (there's plenty of catfights), but in a way that shows that it knows what it is. There's something about the women unknowingly getting involved with dirty money and trailed by an FBI agent named Carmen (Lisa Vidal), but this part of the story was weakly developed. The characters are generally one-dimensional, too, but the actresses certainly try to give it their best. Paul Rodriguez and D.L. Hughley show up in minor roles.

There's three great leading actresses in "Chasing Papi", but the movie could have been called "Chasing A New Script"; the movie feels like it's replacing the lack of story and character with over-the-top zaniness. While that tone is captured fairly well and knowingly, everyone involved deserves better. Overall, "Chasing Papi" isn't by any means a great movie (it's notion of girl power for three girls who can't stop fighting over one guy seems bogus), but it's likable despite its faults.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Chasing Papi" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 pan & scan (both are on a single-layer on either side of the dual-sided disc). The picture quality is generally pleasing, if rather inconsistent. Sharpness and detail seemed first-rate during the brighter, outdoor scenes, while some other scenes could appear softer and lacking in fine detail.

A few little flaws appear here and there; some light instances of edge enhancement appear in several scenes, while a couple of traces of pixelation appear in darker moments. The print, however, seemed to be in excellent condition, with no faults. The film's bright color palette seemed accurately rendered, with strong saturation and no smearing.

SOUND: "Chasing Papi" is presented by Fox in Dolby Digital 5.1. Despite being a romantic comedy, the film's soundtrack puts the rear speakers to surprisingly heavy use, with the surrounds providing near-constant (and rather loud) reinforcement of the Latin music score. The music sounds rich and dynamic, while dialogue remains clear. There's really little else to the soundtrack.

EXTRAS: The DVD offers a commentary with the director, cinematographer and actors Eduardo Verástegui, Sofia Vergara and Roslyn Sanchez. There are Spanish and English options offered. The English commentary is a mix of Spanish and English, with English subtitles. A 20-minute "making of" documentary, bloopers, the film's trailer and a music video are also offered.

Final Thoughts: "Chasing Papi" isn't much of movie; it lacks a well-developed story and characters and it substitutes a style overload in the place of both. However, I liked the performances and everyone seemed to be having fun. It may make an okay date-night rental. Fox's DVD offers good audio/video quality and a few supplements.

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