1 January 2004 | Buddy-51
Dreadful Screwball Comedy
`Chasing Papi' is about a modern day Don Juan who winds up with more than he bargained for in the romance department. Thomas is a young Latino hunk who has three different girlfriends in three different cities. When his paramours finally find out about each other, a round of customary craziness ensues.
`Chasing Papi' is an attempt to revive those old screwball comedies of the 1930's and 1940's, but it fails on virtually every level. It's almost impossible to believe that it took four writers to come up with a screenplay as lame as the one we have here. Of course one doesn't expect rocket science in a film of this type, but even in a screwball comedy a fine line needs to be established between the nonsensical and the stupid and `Chasing Papi' crosses over that line with alarming regularity. It takes a certain rhythm and style to bring off humor in this vein and director Linda Mendoza fails to provide either of those qualities in this production. She has taken a cast of attractive, undeniably talented actors and actresses and forced them to overact so atrociously that any attempt at real humor is virtually eliminated from the very outset. `Chasing Papi' relies on maniacal behavior, nonstop blithering and corny reaction shots to achieve its laughs, but the laughs don't come because the effort is so transparently forced and obvious. In fact after about 15 minutes of watching these stereotypical shenanigans, you'll find yourself yearning for some much needed wit and subtlety. And an occasional time out for some therapeutic silence wouldn't hurt either.
`Chasing Papi' is certainly pretty to look at (both in its characters and its highly colorful settings), but the overall effect of the film is one of annoyance rather than enjoyment.