"If you were smart you would know that you are dumb."
Directed by Matt Piedmont (known mostly for his work in Saturday Night Live and the Funny or Die videos) and written by Andrew Steele, Casa de Mi Padre, is a spoof on the Mexican tele novellas. It was a nice idea, but poorly executed considering there were very few funny moments and five minutes into the film the gags wore off. This could have worked much better as a 5 minute skit in SNL, but it doesn't have enough comedic moments to carry the film for 80 minutes. I'll give Casa De Mi Padre credit for being original and for trying something different, but the story just dragged during most of the film. Will Ferrell surprised me as he delivered all his lines in spanish by learning them phonetically; he may not have spoken perfect spanish but he did a decent job and I had no problem understanding him. Unfortunately despite having an interesting idea for the film, the execution was just too simple and the laughs were practically nonexistent. Casa De Mi Padre is a hollow film and there isn't much more to it.
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has been living in his father's ranch in Mexico all his life. He's not bright, but he's loyal to his father, Miguel (Pedro Armendariz Jr.). He spends most of his time with his buddies, Esteban (Efren Ramirez) and Manuel (Adrian Martinez) goofing around while he cares for his father's animals. His younger brother, Raul (Diego Luna), is an international businessman who has returned to save the ranch and introduce his new fiancé, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), to the family. However, Raul seems to be running an illegitimate business and Armando warns him he has brought trouble to the ranch. The town's drug lord, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal), has declared war on Raul for interfering in his area, while Raul has also drawn the attention of DEA Agent Parker (Nick Offerman).
Will Ferrell is a funny guy and most of his films work for me, but Casa De Mi Padre is just too dull and uninspired. It's a shame because there is a talented cast, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are two of the best Mexican actors, Nick Offerman always delivers, and Genesis Rodriguez is a beautiful actress. I grew up in South America, so I'm familiar with the novellas they were trying to spoof, but after five minutes the jokes wore off. The trailers made me believe this was going to be hilarious, but it wasn't at all. There were some funny moments involving the production design and the animatronic white jaguar, but everything else was poorly executed.