FAULT Film: Casa De Mi Padre review

Laughter is a language spoken all over the world but unfortunately comedy is something that’s often hard to translate.  The latest offering from one of the world’s favourite funny men, Will Ferrell, demonstrates that even a subtitled Mexican spoof has the potential to reduce audiences to tears.

Casa De Mi Padre is the audacious and, at times, outright ridiculous tale of Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell), a hopelessly romantic rancher who’s worked on his father’s farm all his life. The farm comes into financial difficulty as Armando’s brother Raul (Diego Luna) and his new fiancé, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) show up. Armando’s Father (Miguel Ernesto) has a clear favourite in his son Raul and an ultimately dismissive view regarding Armando, addressing him with lines such as “If you were truly smart, you would know that you are dumb!”

The film flips between outrageous parodic scenes reminiscent of a Mexican Benny Hill comedy right through to Tarantino inspired gunfights. At times the film feels to lack any real direction or narrative and can appear to be no more than a lengthy gag reel. No doubt many would claim that this in itself is a nod towards the cheesy soap operas that the film rips off, but in reality those claims are probably more wistful than believable.

Many will see this film as a missed opportunity. Despite the basic premise being a stroke of genius, the film does feel rushed and lacking in any real substance – apart from a few golden moments and the incredible feat of Will Ferrell speaking swiftly learnt but truly fluent Spanish throughout.

Despite its obvious (if not deliberate) flaws, the film is certainly packed with humour. After a while, however, as the jokes are continuously repeated and the same gags are recycled in an attempt to squeeze more out of an initially hilarious concept, it does begin to tire. The final product feels decidedly more ‘drunk uncle with camera at wedding” than “Hollywood Comic star creating a hilarious new genre”.

Casa De Mi Padre is released on DVD on 1st October 2012 (UK)

Review by Louis Sheridan