Casa De Mi Padre (My Father’s House) is Will Ferrell’s first foray into Spanish, telenovela (soap) territory.
Set in Mexico, Will Ferrell stars as Armando Alvarez, a simple man whose one and only love is the land. When his father experiences some financial difficulty it looks like his beloved ranch may be lost. However, when Armando’s much loved, idolised, and successful brother Raul (Diego Luna) returns, with his beautiful new fiance Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) in tow, it looks like the ranch could be saved. What the family quickly learn is that Raul may not be as legit as they think and he has them embroiled in a drug war with the drug baron Orza (Gael Garcia Bernal). Can Armando step up to the plate and save the day?
Telenovelas (Hispanic Soaps) are filled with over the top passion, love and drama. Casa De Mi Padre has all of this and more – adding in some hispanic ‘Scarface type’ moments.
This is a tongue in cheek Hispanic Western/Telenovela/Drug Lord film. It is absurd, and relies on a few dumb jokes to carry it through the 84 minutes but amazingly it works!
The cast look like they’re having fun – never once taking this seriously, knowing exactly what type of film they are making – they are all in on the joke. As is the audience. If you allow yourself to go with the sillyness of it all you will actually have quite a few laugh out loud moments!
It helps that Will Ferrell is the star of this film. There is just something about him. It seems that no matter how over the top a character he brings to the screen we all go with it – laughing and falling in love with him.
That said, Armando Alvarez will not be as well loved as Ron Burgundy (who by the way is coming back to the big screen in 2013, after much demand from fans), nor will people be calling to see him in a sequel. However Ferrell fans will get a laugh out of Armando.
Ferrell spent a month learning and speaking Spanish with a dialect coach for his role of Armando Alvarez. As a result his Spanish is a bit ropey in places but given the tone of the film it actually adds to the humour.
Besides Ferrell, there are other great performances in this film. Gael Garcia Bernal, not only adds the beauty, he is also hilarious as the drug lord, Orza. Genesis Rodriguez who plays Sonia is another stand out. You may not know her name yet but I have no doubt that this will not be her only Hollywood role. She could well be the next Penelope Cruz/Selma Hayak.
Casa De Mi Padre will not be for everyone. It is a film that you have to be in the mood for. If you want to switch off and have a bit of silly fun at the cinema then this film is for you!