Reviewed: Casa De Mi Padre (2012)

casa-de-mi-padre_posterHere’s a movie with Will Ferrell and it’s in Spanish – that’s the primary joke for this entire film. I knew this so I gave it a shot like everyone else will or won’t based on the same information.

Casa De Mi Padre (translates to “House Of My Father”) is an homage to Mexican cinema of yesteryear much like what Black Dynamite is to blaxploitation. Played mostly straight, much of the comedy comes from technical “errors” such as continuity, bad sets and nonsensical cuts.

I can imagine that when the idea was first brought to the table, everyone fell about the place laughing and I would have too. The idea sounds great in the form of a pitch but to turn this one note gag into a feature-length film, it wears a bit thin after fifteen minutes and the story we’re left with to get us over the finish line is left wanting for something. Well, anything really.

The story is about two brothers, one an entrepreneurial young guy on his way to making money for the family and being the good son everyone knows him to be, the other (Will Ferrell) a simpleton with no ambition or expectation from anyone for anything more than just taking up space. The plot thickens when we find out that the good son isn’t so good and his fiancée starts falling for his simpleton brother. There’s also something about a drug lord played by Gael García Bernal.

Tarantino’s Death Proof is another film that pays homage to the imperfections of the style of cinema it references with editing effects that emulate missing film reels, low grade overused film and missing dialogue. Death Proof plays to these gags in the first twenty or so minutes but after that drops these gimmicks (because we get the joke and there’s no need to labour it) and focuses on characters and story, allowing us to sit back and enjoy the film as it plays out.

Casa De Mi Padre does not. I know they’re very different movies but my argument still stands. You’re going to want to be quite drunk in the attempt to enjoy this one. I know I was but honestly, it didn’t help.

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