Sorting out the various flavors of weird is part of the pleasure you’ll have with this retro Spanish-language whatsit, so let’s have at it. First, there’s shoutyman Will Ferrell speaking better-than-decent (if hot-tamale-accented) español as a slow-witted Latino striving to earn his rancher dad’s affection. Miraculously, this isn’t offensive, mainly because of Ferrell’s unexpected sincerity in a swamp of silliness. Getting stranger, Casa de mi Padre is a loving parody of cheesy ’70s entertainments, in this case, the era’s underfunded telenovelas. This means that some of the cows are plastic props, and the lighting bleeds into a toxic orange. The gag isn’t quite enough for a feature (just as it wasn’t for Grindhouse).
But the oddest thing about the movie—and perhaps the asset that will tip it over into the plus column for you—is that it’s a bona fide scuzz-Western: an absorbing melodrama involving a drug-dealing brother (Luna, in jumbo-wide collars), some ugly-American border cops, a hotcha girlfriend (Rodriguez) and a Morricone-worthy title song wailed by Christina Aguilera. If you pray at the Jodorowskian altar of such things (equal parts spurting blood and flared nostrils), then there will be a modicum of satisfaction, perhaps enough to stave off the suspicion that the film should have been an SNL skit, nothing more. Still, it’s the kind of skit that would have gone viral.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
|Release date:||Friday March 16 2012|
Cast and crew
|Cast:||Pedro Armendariz Jr
Gael García Bernal