Will Ferrell stars in this stylish Spanish-language parody of telenovelas; a promising concept that falls completely flat thanks to tired jokes and an over-the-top tone attitude that follows the same conventional plot progression as any given Hollywood comedy. Perpetual loser Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) lives on his father’s ranch in Mexico. One day his brother Raul (Diego Luna) returns home with his new girlfriend Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez, who I referred to earlier this year as “impossibly hot” in my review of Man on a Ledge) and a new career as a drug trafficker. He plans on taking over the local turf of kingpin Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal) and thus a rival, a familial bond, and a love interest are established for the good-natured Armando. What results is a combination of Robert Rodriguez’s hyper nostalgia set to a spaghetti western score and a hodge podge of overused comedic devices. Most annoying are the intentional inadequacies: fake sets, fake animals, obvious green screens, poor filmmaking (jump cuts, excessive reaction shots, unreasonably lengthy scenes of laughter). That’s not a woman, it’s quite obviously a mannequin! Lazy stuff. It should be a joy to see the Y Tu Mama Tambien co-stars dive head first into a goofy comedy, but I just ended up feeling sorry for them. Shoot and a miss.
Casa de mi Padre opens today in Philly-area theaters.