A lot of people have branded John Butler’s ‘Papi Chulo’ as the gay ‘Green Book,’ and it does, in the worst ways. A lot of time the movie feels awkward and tone deaf, and I have to confess that there were moments when I cringed. Butler means well, but Matt Bomer’s character, Sean, reads really selfish and self-righteous, if not outright dumb. The film highlights Bomer’s deficiencies as an actor – that glossy eye really makes his character look more vapid than it needs to be.
But you know what? There’s an element in the film that really got to me – and it’s how it showed loneliness, and how it can lead you to feel a lot of things, and how it can make you act foolishly. Maybe because I have been there myself, and I see how it affected how I reacted to things. Maybe that’s why that despite its deficiencies, by the end of the film, I felt like I needed to take a walk. I just hope I don’t end up near a hardware store.