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Casa de mi Padre

March 31, 2012

Casa De Mi Padre is insane. It is like a step brother to Black Dynamite. They are both straightforward homages to telenovelas and blaxsploitation. They need to be shown together at late night double features.

It is impossible to fully explain Casa de mi Padre. It is a movie in which Will Ferrell speaks entirely in Spanish and wrestles with a fake lion. The movie plays it perfectly straight and you never see Ferrell breaking character or winking at the camera. Critics have been harping that it should have been funnier. However, I find the humor in the absurdity of playing it straight.  The actors are incredibly committed and the props are cheap. This movie uses fake vistas, puppets and Canadian slim cigarettes in creative ways. There is also an interlude written by the first assistant camera man about how “lions escaped and got into cocaine and ate several of the crew.”

Casa is about a young man named Armando Alvarez (Ferrell). Alvarez is slightly dumb and a hopeless romantic. The opening scene sets up how the film will work. Armando walks over to a baby cow and picks it up. When he turns around it is a much smaller stuffed animal that is magically mooing. This is the first of many inconsistancies and liberties Casa takes.

Armando works his families ranch with his two best friends Esteban and Manuel.

Life is simple for Armando until his older, more successful and better looking brother Raul (Diego Luna) moves back into town to challenge big time drug dealer Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).

Along with Raul is the beautiful Sonia. Raul wants to marry Sonia but she falls in love with Armando. Sonia is Onza’s niece. Onza loves Sonia in strange ways.

The two drug dealers engage in a battle of melodramatic bad dialogue. The arguing leads to Luna doing Scarface amounts of cocaine and Bernal smoking two Canadian slim cigarettes at the same time. Their war of words leads to many people getting shot in ultra violent and hilarious ways. I know hilarity and death don’t often go together but when you see this movie you will know what I am talking about.

Critics have been complaining that this movie is overly long. I understand their point but I was able to roll with Casa. It is a silly exercise in silliness. The movie is 88 movies from the beginning to end credits. It moves swiftly and offers up just enough laughs to keep you in your seat.I feel like most comedies are instantly forgettable whereas this movie has some funny scenes that stay with you long after the movie has ended.

I’d follow Armando on other adventures. He may stay around too long but at least you will have some genuine laughs.

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