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Someone Take This ‘Papi Chulo’ Mess Away

Someone Take This ‘Papi Chulo’ Mess Away

Matt Bomer is back and with a brown best friend in the trailer for Papi Chulo.

In the film, Bomer plays a wealthy weatherman who, after losing his boyfriend Carlos, becomes a sobbing mess who hires a Latinx dayworker Ernesto to help renovate his home. That employer-employee relationship evolves, bizarrely, throughout the trailer, despite the fact that Bomer really can’t seemingly communicate with Ernesto in any meaningful way due to the language barrier.

Since this is an employer-employee relationship, there’s already an odd power dynamic between the two. Add in the several times during the trailer when Bomer is speaking and the camera cuts to Ernesto not following along (and at one point, even saying “No te entiendo”) and Bomer saying, “You’re such a good listener.” Is this movie just going to be a white guy talking at his staff for a few hours?

Honestly though, just from the trailer, Papi Chulo does seem to employ the whole “Magical Minority” trope, a subset of the “Magical Negro” trope. In the trailer, Bomer seems to become a changed man from his relationship with Ernesto, as if Ernesto’s silence gives him room to grow. Does he gain wisdom from his poor, lawnkeeper friend? The whole thing looks pretty … (takes a sip of tea) … reductive.

Hey, at least Matt Bomer is playing a gay guy and not a trans woman, right?

Find out for yourself how the Bomer deals with his breakup and his new POC best friend on June 7, when Papi Chulo hits theaters.

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Tags: Film

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