Un Fracaso Epico: A Look At the Casa De Mi Padre Trailer

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.


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.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Anggraito/579945966 Hans Anggraito

    Poor thing, Bernal has been on a downhill roll… “Tambien la lluvia” was a BIG miss (not quite a fail). Now this?? Narco movies don’t need to be parodied. and if they were to be, it shouldn’t be helmed by some sat. night live writer. Consider this movie in the “From prada to Nada” category. Not machete.

  • DF_under

    I think the blogger’s problem is that he’s looking at this through American eyes.

    This isn’t an American project, even though Will Ferrell is one of the stars. It’s a Mexican film, engineered by a Mexican creative team (many of the same people behind the upcoming “Saving Private Perez” and “Rudo y Cursi” and “X-Mas, Inc.”), and is completely in keeping with the tone and humor of those two films.

    This isn’t “Nacho Libre” at all, because it was never designed primarily for an American crowd. It’s like SPP and RyC and XMI, designed to appeal to Mexican humor. Not Mexican-American, I’d like to stress… Mexican. The jokes, the culture and the original script for the film are all pretty modern Mexican comedy like the films above. The American talent was added, in front of and behind the camera, after the fact.

    I get the feeling that the blogger took a cursory look at the names of the people involved behind the scene and said, “Oh, those are Americans obviously, they’re making fun of Mexicans,” but a deeper look reveals a LOT (not a few but a LOT) of filmmakers deeply involved for years in the Mexican film world, and their friends and colleagues in different countries.

    BTW, “Fracaso épico,” with an accent, is indeed the translation for “Epic fail.” If you’re based in the US and dealing mostly in English all day, that is. In Latin America, and especially Mexico, there’s a totally different wording. That was my first tip-off that the blogger was approaching this from an American-centric, not Mexican-centric, angle.