By Arturo R. García
The phrase I used above is Spanish for “(An)Epic Fail(ure).” And that’s exactly what Casa De Mi Padre promises to be. Because if there’s anything the world did not need, it’s a film in the tradition of Nacho Libre.
As with Jack Black’s forgettable, nigh-execrable film, one of the film’s “hooks” is that it features Will Ferrell speaking Spanish. Here he’s playing a ranch hand named Armando, who falls for his brother’s fiancee while landing into trouble with a local drug kingpin.
HE’S SPEAKING SPANISH, YOU GUYS, AND HE’S WHITE! ISN’T THAT F%#!$^ING AMAZEBALLS?
But wait, there’s a twist! Since the film is set in Mexico, just about everybody speaks Spanish. So – wait, this is totally high-concept ish - instead of adopting a ridiculous accent, Ferrell’s Spanish actually isn’t bad! IT’S LIKE HE TOOK CLASSES OR SOMETHING!
A subtitled trailer, for those of you with strong stomachs, is under the cut.
The other gimmick behind Casa is that it’s allegedly done in the style of Mexican soap operas. From the looks of this trailer, this is bullshit.
Oh, sure, the dialogue is a little too formal, and there’s overblown close-ups and whatnot. But one could say the same about American soaps. If this movie were really going to be done telenovela-style, we’d be getting the story from the point of view of the fiancee, Sonia (Genesis Rodríguez). It’s possible that both Ferrell and a Mexican showrunner would define Sonia as a small-town girl
living in a lonely world torn between loving Ferrell’s character and his more successful brother Raúl (Diego Luna).
But on a proper Mexican soap, the story would hinge on her choices, not the mens’. So, not only is Ferrell using whiteface as a selling point for his movie, he’s also seemingly ignoring one of the key aspects of the genre he’s reportedly parodying. If anything, this is Ferrell taking a stab at making a “so bad it’s good” Robert Rodríguez flick – without half of Rodríguez’s usual wit, from the looks of it.
But perhaps the saddest aspect of the film to deal with is the involvement of not only Luna, but Gael García Bernal. I can’t blame them or Rodríguez for wanting to make a go at films made for the multiplex crowd. And each of them should be able to lift some of the material. But … really, this had to be their attempt at a crossover vehicle? For their sake, I hope it works, and that they can find better parts because of it. But for the first time in a long while, they won’t get a dime from me in support.