Casa de mi PadrePosted by cinefile
Casa de mi Padre (2012), directed by Matt Piedmont
Finally the Mexican epic that we have heard so much about is now available on home video. Shot over the course of weeks, with a cast of at least a dozen, Casa de mi Padre is a triumph of Mexican cinema that heralds the arrival of its new international star, Will Ferrell.
Alright, alright, I won’t go overboard with the joke because we all know it and I stole it straight up from the movie’s marketing. Casa de mi Padre isn’t a great Mexican film. It was shot on a sound stage in Hollywood that isn’t even disguised to be anything other than obviously a sound stage. It stars Ferrell as Armando Alvarez, a noble son of a ranch owner who loves the land and his family’s honour.
The film is a tongue-in-cheek homage to Mexican telenovelas, which, as I understand it, are basically Mexican soap operas. This is a comedy, first and foremost. I mean, obviously. Will Ferrell is in it and he speaks Spanish. Will Ferrell doesn’t speak Spanish. Hilarious.
I have to say that even though this is a mess of a movie that I’m sure will leave most people scratching their heads and is probably a heck of a lot funnier to those more familiar with Mexican culture, I still enjoyed it.
It’s silly and thrown together and completely inconsequential, but I still had a lot of fun watching it. It partly goes for this Tarantino-like celebration of a Mexican grindhouse style of cinema, and while it fails to hit that mark, I enjoyed watching it fail and know that the filmmakers went into it without taking the whole thing all that seriously. Maybe it’s sad that I find that refreshing, but sometimes you just need a silly movie, you know?
The music is excellent, the mix of the best of the best of Mexican actors (Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal) with the clearly not-Mexican Ferrell is a punch line worth seeing and the whole thing comes off as an enjoyable lark. I liked the phony sets and the painted backdrops, the shoddy cuts and soft focus. All that plus one of the strangest and most hilarious sex scenes I’ve seen in a while. Hard to lose, really.
I really don’t want to get into some in-depth diatribe with a film as unapologetically silly as this. This is a minor Ferrell film, a throw away, a giggle, really nothing more. But it knows it, that’s what it goes for, and I enjoyed it as just that.
Casa de mi Padre is available on home video now.