It also translates into Black Dynamite Was Funnier as well
Casa De Mi Padre is a 10 minute sketch that could be funny on Saturday Night Live. Or as a fake trailer for a Grindhouse type film. As a feature length film, however, it fails in both being a lampoon of a Mexican telenovela as well as a cheap exploitation style film from the 1970s.
The film has a fairly simple premise. Armando (Will Ferrell) is a rancher who’s brother Raul (Diego Luna) has come back to the family home. He’s also a drug dealer, as well, but has a beautiful fiancée in Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). When a rival drug dealer by the name of Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) massacres their family at their wedding, it’s up to Armando to get revenge for his family. Throw in a romance between Armando and Sonia, of course, and you have a melodramatic Mexican telenovela type of film.
Unfortunately this isn’t all that funny.
It’s a rife parody of the melodramatic nature of the genre, of course, and nails a lot of good moments that deserve lampooning. It doesn’t actually get very comedic, though, and that’s a problem. The ability of a satire to be effective is to lampoon material while also being funny in its own right. And it’s not, at all.
It’s hard to fault Will Ferrell for this. He normally plays this sort of buffoon character fairly well, even in bad films, but somehow in adapting a new language (the film is completely in Spanish) the comedic power behind his dialogue disappears. He’s not entertaining or even interesting on some level; he’s just a protagonist, nothing more. But the occasional bad film from Ferrell is ok; somehow wasting his talent in a film this poorly doesn’t feel as bad as the rest of the cast.
It’s a shame because this is a great collection of Hispanic talent. It gets to be painful after a while to see a cast this talented being so painfully bad. When you somehow manage to get Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna in a film with substantial dialogue and good characters, yet somehow manage to be completely bored by it, you know something is wrong.
Every moment in this film somehow manages to feel flat because there’s no comedy to go with a very strong satire. Casa De Mi Padre won’t be the first film of the year, probably far from it, but it’ll be in the team picture.
Director: Matt Piedmont Notable Cast: Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Génesis Rodríguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr, Nick Offerman, Efren Ramirez, Adrian Martinez Writer(s): Andrew Steele
Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others). When Scott isn't writing about film he's making his own. Check out Drunk Justice Productions right here.