Move Review: Casa De Mi Padre (2012)

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Comedy

Armando (Will Ferell) is a simple minded rancher, tending his herds and waiting for the woman of his dreams.  Armando’s father, Miguel, (Pedro Armendriz) thinks Armando is stupid, and is disappointed in his lack of interest in both money and women.  Miguel’s favorite son Raul (Diego Luna)is coming home.  Raul is ambitious, rich, and about to marry a beautiful woman named Sonia. (Genesis Rodriguez) Armando finds out that Sonia and Raul are involved in the drug trade.  Raul wants to kill the local drug kingpin, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) and take over his business.  Despite the fact that Sonia is going to be married to Raul and has a shady past, Armando can’t help but be attracted to Sonia.  Does Armando save Raul and Sonia from the drug trade?  Does Armando resolve his feelings for Sonia?

While watching this movie, where Will Ferrell speaks Spanish for the whole film, I couldn’t help but recall my Spanish teacher from the 7th grade.  Her favorite admonition to her class was, “Don’t speak Spanglish kids.”. Spanglish is of course mixing in English words to Spanish grammar and adding an o as a substitute for genuine Spanish.  Spanglish is not the problem here, this movie can’t decide if it wants to be a satire of a Spanish telenovela, or a satire of Scarface.  There are some funny moments, but not nearly enough.  I can’t fault Ferrell, he does try to do different types of movies, sometimes it works, like Stranger Than Fiction, but most times it doesn’t, which is sad because I think Will Ferrell is truly funny and talented.  Genesis Rodriguez is ok, but she is trapped in a bad script playing a cross between a love interest and femme fatale.  She is much better in Man on A Ledge.  I admire Ferrell for staying in character for the whole movie, but a cynical part of me says this moviewas a crass attempt at marketing to take advantage of the growing Latino audience in the US.  From the dismal box office numbers, if that was a strategy, it clearly failed.  This movie also fails for a gratuitous sex scene and far too much violence.  The violence and sex were simply not necessary to move whatever story there was along.

Casa de Mi Padre.  The lights are on, but nobody’s home.

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