Movie Review: Casa de Mi Padre

What do you get when you mix Anchorman with telenovelas, with sprinkles of SNL and Grindhouse?  You get Casa de Mi Padre (literal translation is “house of my father” but it’s easier to say “my father’s house”), produced by an  Anchorman… producer along with Well Ferrell, and directed by a former SNL writer.  The film’s budget was $6 million (really low budget compared to recent blockbusters) and only made $8 million in the box office.  So removing the lack of financial success, I’ll try to answer the most important question- is this movie good?

Will Ferrell jumps into the role of Armando Álvarez, a simple rancher who enjoys taking care of his father’s land and hanging out with his two friends, Esteban and Manuel (with Esteban being played by Efren Ramirez, aka Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite).  When Armando’s successful younger brother Raúl comes back home with his beautiful girlfriend Sonia, Armando is thrilled, until he learns Raúl is linked to drug-related murders happening on their father’s land.  Two of Mexico’s most famous actors and best friends, Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, play Raúl Álvarez  and Onza.  Cameos include SNL alumni Molly Shannon and Parks and Recreations actor Nick Offerman.

Casa de Mi Padre can definitely be lumped with Will Ferrell’s other films, like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, etc. What makes this special is that roughly 95% of this movie is spoken in Spanish, so I think it adds a special charm that none of the other movies have.  When I said earlier that this movie was sprinkled with Grindhouse, it is because of the 70’s art-movie style.  It was very heavily tinted red (which is why I edited most of these) along with hilariously bad editing.  When you see the intentional editing, I hope you would laugh as bad as I did.  Even though this was shot in California, not in Mexico, the landscape and environment were gorgeous.  I feel as if they were the real stars of the film.

I was legit excited to see this movie when it first was released, mainly because of Luna and Bernal, and I was curious of their interaction with Will Ferrell.  Do I think this will be a cult classic like Anchorman?  Probably not.  I think the language barrier hinders the possibility of that, but from someone who did take a few Spanish classes in high school and college, I found this movie really easy to follow compared to typical Spanish language films.  I thought Will Ferrell did a good job speaking in Spanish, and Luna and García Bernal were surprisingly funny.

Do I think it’s a good movie?  Yes, but it’s not a great movie.  The complaints I have against it, are that it just that it felt way too slow for a 84 minute film, and it didn’t really capture the talent of the actors- it focused too much on Ferrell, and not enough on Offerman, Luna, and García Bernal.  It’s an excellent cast, but the actors were not really used to their full potentials.



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