VIDEO: Casa de Mi Padre (2012)

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Get ready for some forced silliness! Casa de Mi Padre stars Will Ferrell in a role that requires him to speak perfect Spanish, and it’s as stupid as you think it is. Will plays Armando Alvarez, a rancher who gets involved in a war between his drug lord brother (Diego Luna) and “La Onza”, another trafficker played by Gael García Bernal, and he also finds a romantic interest in the stunning Génesis Rodriguez.

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  • Muthsarah

    Dios mio, by this point, I’ve seen so many movies, usually with the same stories told over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, that I’m plenty content with anything original.  Even if it’s hit-or-miss.  Or insane.  Especially if it’s insane.  And a gringo adaptation of a telenovella – made with plenty of love, but totally in on the joke of how silly these things can be – Casa de mi Padre was a fun watch.  I’m not well-versed in telenovellas, but I felt like I was getting the jokes as I was encountering them.  I’ve seen enough of our inane soap-operas over the years to know how these formulas go, and I enjoyed the…well…”exotic” touch, which kept it from getting dull once the initial joke wore off.  I’m still waiting for a proper soap send-up (thus far, only Futurama’s “All My Circuits” has come close).  The stupider this movie got, the more I liked it.

    C’mon, Renegado, was this not the perfect thing for you to review?  You review Mexicana (like Americana, I dunno if you have the word), but in English, for an American and international audience, so what could be a better fit for this show than a foreign take on Mexicana?  And while this movie is clearly a labor of love (there was no way this was financially viable for Ferrell and company), it still gives you plenty to rip on.  And I give Ferrell mad props for even attempting such a production.  The guy was either desperate to diversify, or he had burned out of his formulaic Hollywood B-films and just wanted to get crazy again.

    Well…anyway, despite your dearth of love for this silly lil’ movie (with a tiny budget), I think this is my favorite of your reviews thus far.

    P.S. For the record, I love seeing foreign takes on American culture, whether faithful or exaggerated for satire.  You wouldn’t happen to know of any enjoyable movies that touch on that subject, dooya?

    • I didn’t say I didn’t like the film, like I said, I laughed most of the time, my biggest annoyance with it was the running gags, but that’s about it xD

      As for a take on american culture, I’m not sure if it even was released with subtitles, but there’s a Mexican movie called “Una Gringuita en Mexico” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265933/ 
      It’s a take on how gringos used to see our country and they’re portrayed in the most stereotypical manner possible.

    • Ah look at that, I found a trailer clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HFuvciHnJE
      Apparently it was made by the owners of that Youtube channel, Alameda Films

  • Sofie Liv

    Maybe this movie would be funnier if you don’t actually talk spanish? 

    Also.. why am I the only around actually liking Will Ferrel? I honestly think he is a very accomplished comedian, or have I just been lucky with the movies I saw him in?

    He is absolutely what made “Elf.” work in the first place, he is the funniest thing in the producers re-make, his entry in “The wedding crushers.” also made me laugh. I also liked him in “Stranger than fiction.” where I think he came across as very like-able, you felt for the man and he had some funny lines as well.. and that’s the Will Ferrel movies I can remember watching.. and I like him in all of them. So.. were I lucky? did I miss some shit performance some-where that just pissed that many people off?

    Also.. dunno why, this movie seemed funny to me. As was your review, sweet job 🙂

    • MichaelANovelli

      I know I like Will Ferrell; it’s just his fans that I can’t stand…  😉

      • He has fans? D:

        • Sofie Liv

           Well he got me.. I actually do like him.

          I just remembered, I saw him in “Ancherman.” to.. And that was a funny movie!

          There was also this movie where he and Owen Wilson played Ice-skaters.. it was a freaking dumb movie, but the two leads still managed to make some of it funny.

          I still cannot watch his scenes in the Producers without bursting out laughing, he is indeed a wonderful Franz Liebkin.. if you ask me.

          • Muthsarah

            That was Jon Heder, in Blades of Glory I think, not Owen Wilson.

            Will Ferrell is a very funny guy, but like Robin Williams (and Billy Crystal, and so many other comedians), he has a certain kind of act that he does well.  And, generally speaking, it ain’t movies.  He’s an improv comedian, and he made his name in a sketch comedy show.  But that doesn’t mean he should be expected to carry a 100 minute movie.  That’s a completely different thing, and it relies on having a really talented writing team and a director that gets what makes the actor funny.  And while Anchorman was a pretty decent movie, to me, it worked because it felt like a collection of shorter skits all with a general theme of a boorish man with outdated values living in the height of 70s decadence.  Half the scenes in that movie could have been cut out and not affected the plot at all; most of the comedy was just in making fun of the concept of what men in the 1970s think is cool (and how that doesn’t work anymore), and how incredibly arrogant this one guy was.  The story was a loose framework for silly sketches with exaggerated characters, exactly what Ferrell does best.  Besides, it was an ensemble film.  Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller all contributed to the biggest and best comedic scenes, it didn’t expect Ferrell to contribute all the funny by himself.  And that’s what Ferrell is good at: being the most well-rounded goofball in a cast of goofballs.  Most of his solo movies require him to be THE comedic lead, and do all the work himself, and not surprisingly, very few of his movies have worked.  Very few people can pull that off.  Comedy is hard.  100 minutes of comedy must be torture to put together.

            Ferrell deserves his fans.  He was incredible on SNL back in the day; he may have saved the whole show from cancellation way back around ’96 (for those not in-the-know, it’s still around and doing OK, but it was near-death back then).  He was in almost every sketch, and he was the only one getting consistent laughs.  But those were five-minute sketches, something that let him be in-your-face goofy, get the joke across, milk it for a few minutes, and then let it go before it got tired.  He’s plenty talented enough to deserve fans, but he just isn’t the right kind of guy for solo movies.  He needs to be in stuff like the better Ben Stiller films (Dodgeball, Tropic Thunder), or even to cameo in a Judd Apatow comedy; he would be great if he was given one of two scenes all to himself to write and lead, a scene only tangentially related to the rest of the plot, something he could play with and make his own while the regular cast try to play off of his lunacy.  But I guess producers think that any recognizable comedian should be able to single-handedly make any picture work (I know there are other talented actors in this movie, but none of them to my knowledge have comedy backgrounds), and so they keep trotting Ferrell out to sell a movie that’s way too big for him to handle himself.

            One reason I liked this movie as much as I did was because of how small a production it is.  Apparently, it had only a $6 million budget (for comparative purposes, Sandler’s Jack and Jill supposedly cost $80 million), and given it’s original subject matter, I think it turned out pretty well.  It’s not consistently funny, but it’s funny enough to work.  But in the future, Will really needs to find some other comedians to help shoulder the load.

          • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

            The one actor that pretty much sums up funny standup that doesn’t translate to movies: Chevy Chase.  The truly best comedic movie actors?  Steve Martin and the legend, John Candy.  Jim Carey to a somewhat lesser degree I put him on Vince Vaughn’s level; he knows what works and when he goes out of that zone it falls very, very flat.  Heck even as great as Rowan Atkinson is, he knows the limitations of a movie, that’s why we don’t have a whole lot more Mr Bean or Johnny English movies already.

    • I’m more meh about Will, I do remember liking him in Stranger Than Fiction

  • Cheshirecat

    It’s great that Will Ferrell is branching out; expanding his talent, trying new styles, learning a new language.  But did he have to pick a language I understand?  Why couldn’t it have been french? Will would have it made in France. He could be their next Jerry Lewis. (Hint: I never found Jerry funny either. I suppose that’s one of the drawbacks to being raised on the often subtle and always dry british telly.)(Also, no offense to any french viewers.)

    • I think that’s what makes this movie a little more polarizing, it’s slightly less funny if you understand the language the actor is trying to speak.

      • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

        He should’ve learned a language that no one would figure out like Yiddish or Flemish, not a pretty mainstream language like Spanish…but then why would someone be speaking Yiddish in Mexico?  OH THE HILARITY!!!  or maybe not…

        • Muthsarah

          It would have been impossible to send up telenovellas without having it be in Spanish.  Unless he wanted to make a parody telenovella all in English.  Which wouldn’t have been as funny (and probably would have drawn howls of protests).

          It was a risky proposition from the start.  I suspect that most of the people familiar with telenovellas (and thus the ones most interested in seeing a movie based on them) would be Spanish-speakers, but they would also be the most difficult people to impress and the ones most likely to take exception to any flaws in Ferrell’s Spanish.  Even if he had learned Spanish growing up, nothing short of fluency would have escaped notice.  But the whole joke was that he’s going to act poorly, and that the movie was going to look cheaply-made.  Look at the friggin’ mountain lion again.  You think he was TRYING to impress anyone?

          So, basically, he was taking a fairly original idea for a comedy and aiming it at the audience that would be the most difficult to please.  That takes guts.

  • Elfshotthefood

    Will Ferrell isn’t funny in *any* language. 

  • MXH

    This review wasn’t very well-conceived.  You can’t really make fun of a parody/satire by pointing out that it’s over the top.  I stopped watching right after you broke in with “DRAMATIC!” after the eye-to-eye quick cuts and musical sting during the dinner scene.  How is that a joke?

    This would have been a lot more interesting if you’d gone into the whole telenovela thing, and commented more on the various tropes being lampooned.  Instead, you seemed to pretend that this was a dramatic effort that you could seriously critique (for some of the jokes, at least — and too many at that).

    • I admit the dramatic running gag was kind of too much, maybe this movie was more intended for an analytical review? I dunno, if we’re not supposed to take it serously what else could I take from it?

  • Art Sanz

    I find it more funny having to listen a guy who can barely speak english with a thick accent right out of Harmon Hall, deriding a guy for speaking mangled spanish (with just bad pronunciation).

    Hey fat bastard, can you speak any more stereotypically please? I don’t think gringos make enough fun of our accent already.

    • Pfffft, Harmon Hall, muy buena compa.