Once Sean gets Ernesto into his car and onto his deck, he becomes chatty. He knows some Spanish, a few words and phrases here and there. More than anything, though, he needs someone who will listen to him. It's funny and there is sort a THE ODD COUPLE vibe to this pair of men. The awkward, heartbroken young gay man and the straight, middle-aged family man who keeps calling his wife with updates.
Ernesto is married. He's a father. He's afraid of immigration. If Sean had built a wall in his mind to keep Mexicans like Ernesto out of his comfortable Caucasian American life, he would not have started to heal from the end of his relationship with Carlos. To the gay male community, it's continuously projected that youth, a handsome face and a hot sexual playground of a body are the most important items when it comes to romantic attraction. A gay character like Sean is very refreshing. I read a high-tone online review of the movie in which the critic felt it had outdated racial tropes. I disagree. We've seen characters like Ernesto in other films, laborers working for white folks. Did we learn about the laborer's family life? Did we go into their neighborhoods, drop into their homes, meet their family and friends and have food with them? Rarely. In PAPI CHULO we did. Overall, it's a gentle, entertaining film about human connections, one that doesn't put on airs -- like GREEN BOOK. It was written and directed by John Butler. It runs 1 hour 38 minutes.