|Casa de mi Padre
Starring Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna
As I've been diving into some older westerns lately, I looked forward to the idea of Will Ferrell creating a spoof of those films in Casa de mi Padre. However, it's a comedy done in a foreign language; I don't know about you, but I've always struggled with comedies when having to read subtitles. Which is tough, because I absolutely love foreign films.
For example, Father and Guns was a good, entertaining foreign movie; I could see where the humor was, but having to use subtitles to deliver that humor made it challenging to actually find it funny (of course, there are exceptions, such as Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, where I couldn't stop laughing). Unfortunately, that's about half the humor in Casa de mi Padre; the other half was the same sight or spoof gags done way too often.
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) isn't very bright. He dreams of the perfect woman and living life as a rancher; however, as the ranch encounters financial troubles, it seems those dreams may not come true. Things appear to get better with the return of Armando's brother, Raul (Diego Luna) and his beautiful fiance, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), but even that is quickly shattered as Armando learns that his brother has become a drug dealer, and is about to enter a war with the feared drug lord, The Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).
Casa de mi Padre started off with a great idea, to present what looks to be a low budget film that takes itself way too seriously. For example, it's fairly clear when the background is just a canvas, when toy cars and trucks are used to represent travel, or a character hanging up the phone only to have him still on it in the next frame, that this film isn't one to be taken seriously. And these actually bring about some chuckles, at least the first few times around. But repeating the same jokes over and over, and running it into the ground, well, it gets old. We get it; the animals are stuffed, the woman Will Ferrell is having sex with is a plastic doll. Just don't keep shoving it down our throats.
That's not to say there aren't good things going on here. Will Ferrell actually does a good job playing down his role as Armando; you'd expect an over the top performance, judging by the type of movie this is and his roles in Anchorman and, well, most of his other films. The rest of the cast plays well with Ferrell, especially Diego Luna and Genesis Rodriguez. And Efren Ramirez (best known as Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite) and Nick Offerman are extremely under utilized; Nick Offerman attempting to speak Spanish to Ferrell was probably one of the best scenes in the film.
Director Matt Piedmont does just what he aims for; makes a spoof movie that takes itself seriously, and that no one else can take seriously. Unfortunately, the script penned by Andrew Steele leaves a lot to be desired; even in another language, the humor and dialogue is flat and repeated constantly, where even a talented cast can't breath enough life into it to make it entertaining.