When I first heard that Will Ferrell was making a Mexican parody of telenovelas and film, I was amused but unsure how it would turn out. Even after watching some of the trailers, I still was not sure about it. First, I didn’t know how funny it would be. Second, would I find it offensive? The latter I wasn’t very worried about, but I was concerned about whether I’d find it entertaining. After watching it, to be truthful, I can’t say I enjoyed Casa De Mi Padre. It started out strong and funny, but from the halfway point, it went downhill.
Will Ferrell stars as Armando Alvarez, a loyal and not-too-smart ranchero. When drug lord, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal), kills a man on the outskirts of the Alvarez’s ranch, Armando is alerted to drug activity going on the area. When Armando heads back home, he sees that his brother, Raul (Diego Luna), has come home with a fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). Their father is very happy to see Raul, but Armando feels like there is something bad going on with his brother. Armando must set his cowardice aside and prove to everyone that he can save his father’s ranch.
I grew up watching Spanish telenovelas (or more like, watching my mom and grandma watch telenovelas). And I always made fun of them. The long dramatic stares, the cheesy dialogue and music, their clothing, etc. are funny to me. Casa De Mi Padre gets it right when making fun of these things. I took my mom to see this movie, and she couldn’t help laughing at those scenes as well. It makes the first half of the film pretty entertaining. There’s one very good scene when Raul is explaining to Armando the whole Mexican vs. American dynamic when it comes to drugs and stereotypes.
Unfortunately, the jokes plateau halfway through, and the movie starts to drag. It’s only an 84-minute- long movie, but it felt longer. The allusions to telenovelas or old Mexican films livens the film up a little, but it can’t save it from the stupid and predictable storyline. It just gets so boring. You know how it’s going to end, and I was slightly tempted to follow some of the people who were walking out of the film early.
Finally, it has come to my attention that some Latino groups are boycotting Casa De Mi Padre or many are just afraid that they will find it offensive. The movie didn’t offend me at all. If anything, it’s more offending to white people than Latinos. (But really, it’s not offensive at all to anyone.) So, don’t choose to not see this movie because you think it’s offensive to Latinos; don’t see it because it’s not a good movie. If you are very curious to see it, I would highly suggest waiting to rent it.
Casa De Mi Padre hits theaters, Friday, March 16th.