Pauls Valley Democrat
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
Since my millions of dollars (or pesos in this case) have yet to accumulate in a luxury to launch my every terrible comedy idea into film, I’ll have to settle for dreams or no more than Youtube. Of course, I can certainly gain ideas for the kind of templates ridiculous influence produces, such as this Mexican soap opera style submission.
By my own guilty admission I was somewhat intrigued by the idea after catching a promo on an episode of the “Daily Show,” but knowing the comedian in the starring role, before viewing I was able to prepare myself with as low a standard as I could muster. Alas, there were times when perhaps I could not find low enough standards to sit through the whole thing, though I made it through with plenty of laughs and groans. I can’t in good faith actually recommend “Casa de Mi Padre,” but if you live for corny gags, this is as bad as the cheese gets.
Set on a ranch in Mexico, the film follows the simple life of Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell), who has done nothing but work the land owned by his father, Senor Alvarez (Pedro Armendáriz, Jr.) his whole life. Not considered the sharpest cactus in the desert, he seems helpless to help his father with financial troubles until his brother Raul Alvarez (Diego Luna) shows up claiming to have the means to settle all debts.
Armando seems to be fit to remain the family joke until he catches the notice of Raul’s girlfriend Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) and things go to pot when Raul’s so called success ignites hatred from a drug lord named Onza (Gael García Bernal). What follows is a painful series of events where Armando must decide how far he’s willing to be pushed and self discovery that would be better suited for a quick sketch on Saturday Night Live. Of course, the one thing I felt was missing to add the abysmal cherry on top was at least a cameo of B Hispanic movie legend Danny Trejo.
I might not have even reviewed this and buried it with all the other repressed memories to be discussed in front of a psychologist later, but there was just enough giggles to at least share them with you. I do agree with some other reviews I’ve read in that more could have been done to make it feel like it doesn’t drag out too long, but as long as you accept this is all on purpose, it might make it more tolerable.
By the end, I must say I doubt I’ll ever so much as watch it again, at least other than to jam to the Yo No Se music video online. I’d also not recommend anyone easily offended by Naked Gun type sex scenes watch it either and that includes the kids for their future mental state’s sake. For being it what it is my final verdict for “Casa de Mi Padre” is one and a half out of five banditos.
DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.