If you’ve seen the trailer, you know the joke: Will Ferrell speaks Spanish. It’s a perfectly good joke: Ferrell makes for a highly amusing comedy Latino, mangling his vowels, wearing an inch-thick layer of perma-tan and occasionally bursting into song. Were it a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, ‘Casa de mi Padre’ would be an instant YouTube smash. But 85 minutes is a long time to laugh at one joke. The plot is intentionally derivative, a fond pastiche of trashy Mexican soap operas: Armando Alvarez (Ferrell), the dutiful but dim son of a wealthy rancher, has to man up when his wayward brother, Raul (Diego Luna), returns home with a drugdealer, Onza (Gael García Bernal), hot on his trail. There are some welcome slapstick moments – Ferrell’s run-in with a fake jaguar is hilarious – but mostly this is played inexplicably, unnervingly straight: the dialogue is joke-free and the performances, while broad, are more dramatic than comical. The result is odd, intermittently amusing but wholly unsatisfying, an oddball experiment that simply doesn’t work.
Friday June 8 2012
Cast and crew
Pedro Armendariz Jr Gael García Bernal Diego Luna Will Ferrell Genesis Rodriguez