Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) is the loyal son of Miguel (Pedro Armendariz, Jr.) a successful rancher in Mexico. Armando is not as wily and intelligent as his older brother, Raul (Diego Luna). When Raul arrives home with his bride-to-be, everyone is happy for him but Armando. He has been the loyal son to his father but sees very little respect and love coming from his father, and suspects his brother is now engaged in the drug trade, as well as to Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez.)
He senses that his brother does not have the true affection for his fiancée that she deserves. Sonia admires Armando for his genuine nature and concern, but assures him that their love is true.
There is an ongoing drug dealer story that is the counterpoint to the story of the family relations, but because of the way the movie is constructed, you are not drawn into this shallow and non-comical set of circumstances.
The purpose of the movie is not to provide a true tale of intrigue or suspense. It is clear Will Ferrell only meant to be funny and treat you to a rollickin’ good time at the movies. El unico problema es que no hay mucho “rollickin’.” Ferrell thought it would be hilarious to spoof the Mexican novella with its pseudo-serious, half-modern, half-1940s period costumes and “Western” situations.
For instance, there is the riding on fake prop horses. There are the outlaws who try to kidnap his mother. There is the gun barrels-a-blazing final shootout with the bad guy, “El Onzo” (Gael Garcia Bernal). “Casa de Mi Padre” is visually interesting and it could have been extremely funny if Ferrell had imitated what Jack Black did with “Nacho Libre.” ¡Pero no!
Ferrell’s budget must have been so lean that he could not hire good comedy bit writers and it shows in every scene. Breaking glass around the campfire isn't near as funny as the breaking wind scene from “Blazing Saddles.” The music is the only accomplished aspect of the movie, including a Spanish version of “Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Although his father calls him names such as “estúpido,” Armando remains loyal to him. But the favorite son, Raul, who is praised for being smart, has turned to dealing drugs. The developmental personology doesn't make sense.
Although Ferrell’s Spanish enunciation is lacking in some places, his ability to pronounce the words well and string them together shows that he does have a facility with the language, and that’s impressive.
However, the total sum of the shenanigans and faux comedy scenes do not add up to a funny movie. You may want to go and see it, but brush up on your Spanish. If you pair the Spanish words with the subtitles on the screen, you will come out speaking quite a few words you did not know before.
Don’t forget to stay until the end of the credits to see the commercial for Haggerty cigarettes. So many families in real life are just as dysfunctional as the Alvarez family. Si su familia necesita ayuda con su comunicación, llámeme. We'll talk.
Rated R for bloody violence, language, some sexual content and drug use.
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