Will Ferrell took a chance with "Casa de mi Padre". He has already established himself as one of the premier comedic actors in the world, and has taken on a few more serious roles to expand his range. This time, he goes in a totally different direction and stars in a Spanish-language melodrama/comedy.

Ferrell plays Armando, the black sheep of a Mexican family. His brother Raul is the favorite of their father, and returns home with money and a beautiful fiancee. It is revealed that Raul made his fortune from drug dealing, and a rival drug lord wants to take over the operation.

It's somewhat hard to know what to make of this movie. It's most obviously satirizing the Mexican telenovela, the soap operas you see on Telemundo or Univision. The acting on those shows is over-the-top, the storylines are absurd, there are plot holes and continuity errors and weird pacing. To do a total mock of those is fine for a Saturday Night Live sketch that lasts a few minutes, but to stretch it out to a full-length movie never feels quite right.

On the flipside, it seems like Ferrell did this just for fun. He's already made millions of dollars, and decided he wanted to make a Spanish movie. He and his friends got together and just did what they wanted for a while, seemingly uncaring about the final box office numbers. The result wasn't as funny as other Ferrell movies, but something interesting on its own.

"Casa de mi Padre" did poorly in theaters, mostly because American audiences hate subtitles. Ferrell took the risk that people would put that aversion aside to see one of their favorite actors, but it turned out people hated reading more than they loved Will. The movie is worth watching just to see how bad it is.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Casa de mi Padre" gets a 3 out of 10.

Celluloid Hero Varacchi


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