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STUDIO Gary Sanchez Productions
RUNNING TIME 84 minutes
• Commentary with Will Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont, and writer/producer Andrew Steele
• Pedro Armendariz Jr. Interview
• 10 Deleted Scenes
• “Making of” Featurette
• “Fight for Love” Music Video
• 3 Commercials
Will Ferrell in a feature length spoof of telenovelas spoken entirely in Spanish that ends up being funnier than you would expect.
Will Ferrell, Matt Piedmont (director), Gael Garcia Bernal, Genesis Rodriguez, Nick Offerman
Will Ferrell is a rancher who has worked at his father’s farm his entire life. When his brother returns to the ranch as a rich man, Ferrell begins to fall for his beautiful new fiancé. However, when his brother turns out to be a drug dealer, Ferrell must stand up to a feared drug lord to save both his father’s ranch and the beautiful woman.
Let me start by saying that I have not only seen almost every Will Ferrell movie, but have also enjoyed most of them (the less said about Land of the Lost the better). Casa de mi Padre, however is completely unlike any movie Ferrell has starred in before. Not only is it a spoof of telenovelas, but it is spoken entirely in Spanish. It does share one similarity to the rest of Ferrell’s filmography and that is it is very funny, albeit in a very different style.
This idea of spoofing older and cheaper styles of movies has been done before, most notably by Black Dynamite and Machete. However, neither of those movies had a star at the level of Will Ferrell. He commits completely to the concept and is mainly used as the straight man while most of the laughs come from making fun of the way telenovelas are filmed. The movie comes with deliberately cheap looking sets and animals that look like they are a part of a stuffed animal collection rather than props in a movie.
For the first hour this is where most of the laughs come from and I began to think that this would have been better off as a Saturday Night Live sketch or a video on Ferrell’s website Funny or Die. However, at around the hour mark, the movie really begins to get crazy and fully take advantage of how weird telenovelas can become.
Co-stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are also excellent as the rival drug dealers. However, in limited screen time it is Nick Offerman, easily the most recognizable face behind Ferrell, who brings the most laughs. As an American police officer, he is able to use the same extreme manliness he does so well on Parks and Rec, but this time he is much more of an asshole to go along with it. He has limited screen time, but almost all of his lines are gut busters and his final scene is the highlight of the movie.
While many of the moments where the film spoofs the telenovela style bring chuckles, there are many other moments where the movie seems to be winking at those who are more familiar with telenovelas and others where the joke falls flat and then continues going for far too long. These are the moments where I was thinking that the idea was better suited for a format that was shorter in length.
Overall, Casa de mi Padre is a funny movie with a fully committed performance from Ferrell. However, it also could have made an all-time classic sketch. Most, if not all, of the funniest moments come in the last 20 minutes or so of the movie with the jokes at the beginning eliciting only chuckles. Because of this, Casa de mi Padre will not go down as a Will Ferrell classic. However, it is also much funnier than the spoofs I mentioned before and therefore if you enjoyed those style of movies, you will also find this very funny.
The special features on Casa de mi Padre are quite minimal. The commentary with Ferrell and director Piedmont is funny at parts, but does not really talk about why they decided to make this movie and what went into making it. The commercials and deleted scenes are sometimes funny, but overall are very slight and it is easy to see why the making of featurette finally reveals how to shoot Will Ferrell riding a fake horse.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars