Movie Review: Casa de Mi Padre

By Stephen Rebello

Stephen Rebello reviews Will Ferrell's Spanish-language movie.

Director: Matt Piedmont MPAA Rating: R Studio: Gary Sanchez Productions

Casa de Mi Padre is an amiable but eventually tiresome Spanish-language goof of telenovelas and floridly melodramatic, moustache-twirling westerns. Will Ferrell stars as the dull-witted offspring of an aging rancher (the late Pedro Armendáriz, Jr.), whose other favored drug dealer son (Diego Luna) wages war with a bitter rival (Gael Garcia Bernal).  In the mix is Luna’s voluptuously hot and mysterious fiancée (Genesis Rodriguez), with whom Ferrell’s character dangerously dallies.

Ferrell, who squints, tightens his jaw and speaks Spanish throughout, seems, like the rest of the cast, highly committed to playing the straight-faced, macho idiocy for which his role cries.  He’s especially good at the throwaway stuff like the running gag that has him trying and failing to roll cigarettes.  Ferrell might actually be much funnier if this thing, directed by Matt Piedmont and written by Andrew Steele, weren’t essentially a 10-minute SNL skit stretched like a tortilla to feature length.  The flick’s makers and cast affectionately wallow in ‘70s south-of-the-border exploitation movie glory with deliberately tacky painted backdrops, long, drawn out death scenes, animatronic puppet lions and overheated sensuality.

But the let’s-deliberately-make-a-B-movie idea got copped years ago by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez and even then it seemed precious.  Casa de Mi Padre is good for a few chuckles but it never really kicks out the jams.

About the Author

Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interviews and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2012. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.


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