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Casa de Mi Padre (review)

Casa de mi Padre green light Will Ferrell Genesis Rodriguez

I’m “biast” (pro): loving Will Ferrell’s audacity of late

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)


Forget what you think movie comedy in the 21st century is supposed to look like, all grossout humiliation so broad it can be seen from orbit. Casa de Mi Padre is a hilarious harkening back to cheapo 60s and 70s Mexican westerns, sure, but it’s also much more akin in spirit to the Hollywood comedies of that era. A little bit Mel Brooks, a little bit Airplane!: subtle humor that slips under your radar instead of bashing you over the head is what makes Casa one of the more adventurous comedies in recent years, not the fact that it assumes the viewer is okay with reading subtitles. Though there is that, too. A Funny or Die team including writer Andrew Steele and director Matt Piedmont — as well as, of course, star Will Ferrell, one of the founders of Funny or Die — mock up a brother-versus-brother melodrama set on a Mexican ranch as city-slicker Raul (Diego Luna: Contraband) returns home with bride-to-be Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez: What to Expect When You’re Expecting), much to the chagrin of none-too-bright but deeply romantic Armando (Ferrell: Megamind), who suspects Sonia of gold-digging; meanwhile, druglord Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal: A Little Bit of Heaven) is encroaching on the ranchlands. It’s just a framework upon which to hang a slew of sly digs at the fakery not just of Z-grade Mexican movies but of all movies: enjoy continuity and subtitle jokes, cheesy fake backdrops and amateurish dialogue, over-the-top melodrama and outrageous violence, and scenes that no one knows how to end. Most of the humor will be best appreciated by movie geeks, and may well even slip by more casual fans, though anyone can appreciate the musical interludes that are oddly off-kilter while still supercatchy, and the comic bit of business Bernal engages in with a couple of cigarettes. For all the funny stuff, though, there’s also a surprising touch of sharper satire about the drug business in Mexico and its hypocritical American customers, as well as some striking imagery: the psychedelic dream sequence is as absurdly bizarre as it is visually inventive. Ándale!

UK
DVD/streaming

Amazon UK DVD
US/Canada release date: Mar 16 2012 | UK release date: Jun 8 2012

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated SMC for graphic sustained spoofing of movie conventions
MPAA: rated R for bloody violence, language, some sexual content and drug use
BBFC: rated 15 (contains strong language, bloody violence, sex and hard drug use)

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes
  • RogerBW

    Oh good. I’ve been getting mixed signals on this one…

  • FSugino

    Stay all the way through the credits for a fake PSA from a television icon from the 1970s.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Mel Brooks and Airplane! count a subtle now? The mind boggles…

  • 32danielle

    I was hoping this would turn out to be funny.  It’s on my to-rent list.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Compared to what passes for Hollywood comedy today? They sure as hell do.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That explains why I so enthusiastically avoid comedies.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    i hear ya.

    i am puzzled by this though: http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/1srixl/movie-43-exclusive-trailer

    it has anna ferris and seann william scott. but also kate winslet, hugh jackman, and liev schreiber. can’t compute. i want to ignore and avoid it. might not be able to.