Casa de Mi Padre – Movie Review

Que?  That’s “House of my Father” for those less schooled in Española.  Will Ferrell and company gather around the campfire and decided to skewer telenovellas.  Maybe not such a bad thing to do but it may have fit better in a short sketch format than a feature length movie. 

This is the tale of two brothers.  Armando (Will Ferrell) loves the land and cares for his father Manuel’s (Pedro Armendariz, Jr.) ranch.  Raul (Diego Luna) went away to the big city but is returning home and is Manuel’s favorite.  The old man is delighted when Raul shows up, but he is not alone.  Raul has brought his beautiful fiancé Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). 

Armando feigns being annoyed with her but he’s really enamored with this gorgeous Latina.  She has secrets of her own as her uncle Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a drug dealer who sees Raul as competition as well as lusting after his niece Sonia.  Armando will have to come to terms with both his past and his growing affection for Sonia as the bullets start to fly – El Mariachi style.

Ai-chi-wa-wa.  Casa de mi Padre takes a one-joke premise, named telenovellas aka Spanish soap operas, and stretches it too far.  This may have made a short sketch or film but it loses its flavor as you stretch it to feature length (and the feature isn’t that long if you omit the running time of the closing credits).  Will Ferrell is always game for comedy, but here he has to deliver his dialogue in Spanish… a language that he doesn’t speak.

Pedro says that he learned all his lines phonetically (ala Bela Lugosi who spoke no English when he played Dracula).  I admire Ferrell’s effort, but it there’s not enough comedy to make up for the effort.  There are probably a few laughs, maybe you’ll laugh more if you speak the language or are a fan of the soap operas.  I’m neither.

It probably doesn’t help the enjoyment factor that Ferrell’s ass appears to be the star of the sex scene.  I could’ve lived with looking at Sonia’s assets, but if I want to see a overweight guy’s ass I can look in the mirror.  Well, you’d probably rather see Ferrell’s anyway. 

Casa De Mi Padre is presented in a 1080p transfer (2.35:1).  Special features, all in high def, include a commentary with director Matt Piedmont, writer Andrew Steele, and Ferrell, the 15 minute making of, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, 3 minutes of “comerciales” aka faux commercials, and the 3 minute final interview with the late Pedro Armendariz, Jr. who died in December 2011. 

Casa de mi Padre is a one joke effort that wears out its welcome too soon.  Your laughs may vary on your enjoyment of both Ferrell and the genre they’re satirizing.  I can’t say it was bueno. 

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