I’m sure by now that some of you might have become caught on channel 138 on your DSTV boxes and been exposed to the wonderful Spanish-American institution of the telenovela. If you haven’t, these are basically soapies taken up to 11, with all the expected increase in drama and craziness that might be expected. Casa de mi Padre is essentially a parody of these, but one which might play it a bit too straight and drawn out to generate many laughs.
Armando: Let him die. He’s missing a hand anyway.
Shot entirely in Spanish, the film stars Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) the son of a ranch owner in the American west. The arrival of his younger, seemingly successful brother Raul plunges his comfortable life into chaos, as romance and thrills abound, especially when the family gets mixed up with drug lord Onza (Bernal).
Parodies have to walk a very fine line between actually being comments on an original and just doing the exact same thing as the original, but occasionally winking at the audience. Casa sounds like a great concept, as the hilarity available in such overblown drama does show a lot of potential. However, it doesn’t seem to have been thought through very well here, and this film might have done far better as a ten or 15 minute short skit on a comedy show. It just doesn’t have enough funny moments to carry it through for a full running time. Added to this is Will Ferrell, who can be hit and miss even with his most devoted fans, and for many other regular people, his antics can be almost enough to put them off a movie entirely, and he continues in such form throughout this one.
Armando: [singing] # Why does the turtle move so slow? #
Backing singers: [singing] # I don’t know! #
Casa de mi Padre overall suffers from just not enough to carry it, not enough drive or imagination to expand on a concept that could have fitted on a napkin. Added to this is the subject matter not being very globally understood, and you’re left with not much to write home about at the end of the day.