March 25, 2012

Movie Review: Casa de mi Padre

With the release of Casa de mi Padre, Will Ferrell ushers Funny or Die to the big screen. It is certainly an experimental gamble for the generally bankable star. A film shot entirely in Spanish and spoofing the Mexican telenovela is not exactly an easy sell; however, that is exactly what this is. If you ever wondered what a Mexican soap would look like with a Hollywood star would look like (after the teases of Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, that is), wait no more. All you need to do is head out to the theaters and give this a shot.

Despite Ferrell's considerable, if inconsistent, comedic style is put front and center along with this impressive Spanish skills in a movie that feels out of place in theaters. It is a weird release and one that probably should not have made it there in the first place. There is something about it that feels half baked, not terribly well thought out, and suffers from middling execution.

Casa de mi Padre is a movie that is admirable for the chances that it takes. It is worthy of some affection for being a stab at something sweet, weird, quirky, and at times creative, but at the same time I only found it fitfully amusing, more than a little dull, and a little to the long side. I suspect that it would have been better if it had been made as a series of skits for the Funny or Die site. That is really what this amounts to, a series of skits linked together in a loose fashion to form a movie.

The story is as simple as it comes. Ferrell is Armando Alvarez, a dim witted but earnest rancher working his fathers ranch, and the younger brother to a sleazy drug dealer, Raul (Diego Luna). Raul returns home with his fiancee, Sophia (Genesis Rodriguez). His return comes with larger implications than just a wedding, he is moving in on the territory of another drug dealer called La Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). This leads to all manner of oddities, not the least of which is Armando's quick attraction to Sophia.

This really is an odd movie. It is one that makes you wonder what it was that spurred on the idea. I figure it was Ferrell wanting to show off his Spanish, or perhaps a desire to show comedic respect for the Mexican low-budget stories, or maybe it was a bet made over a few bottles of tequila. Whatever the case, the movie is not destined to be more than a blip on the cinematic landscape. Still, it does show that Ferrell is willing to take chances and not be worried about the financial repercussions of the decision.

The movie mocks the low budget filmmaking of the telenovela. There is oddly phrased dialogue, overly dramatic angles and facial expressions take the comedy and make it melodramatic, there are reused effects shots, poorly done effects, jump cuts, and other randomness.

I don't know. This movie did not leave me with all that much to say about it. I see what they were going for and the cast all seemed game to do it, it just did very little for me. There were a few moments of laughter, lots of bordom, and way too much of Will Ferrell's bare ass.Yes I laughed a couple of times, yes I like what they were going for, but no, I did not care for this movie. Boring and overlong.

Not Recommended.

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