Will Ferrel has become the first American-born English language actor to star in a full Spanish-language film. Despite the admiration Ferrel attracted by speaking almost perfect Spanish throughout, the public response has been mixed, with critics slamming obvious satire aimed at illegal immigration, Mexican soap-operas & racism, while contrary opinions simply say laughing at yourself and the problems and tensions between “Gringos” and “Latinos” is the best way to break down barriers & stereotypes.
Casa de Mi Padre (House of My Father) is a 2012 Spanish-language American action-comedy film starring Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Génesis Rodríguez with Matt Piedmont directing a screenplay written by Andrew Steele. The film has been described to be in the style of an “overly dramatic telenovela” and tells the story of Armando Alvarez, who must save his father’s ranch from a powerful drug lord. Casa de Mi Padre hits Uk cinemas on June 8th, 2012.
Like many comedies, especially those of the Saturday Night Live variety, Casa de mi Padre takes a funny, fresh little skit and tries to stretch it out to a feature length movie. And the fact that it’s entirely in Spanish might just be its death knell, even though from a creative standpoint, it is rather unique.
The humor is all over the place, taking stabs at stereotypes, music, scenery and primarily, editing. In an effort to spoof low budgets and inexperienced filmmaking, Casa de mi Padre goes to great lengths to highlight inferior quality – continuity errors are blatant, digital effects are shoddy, matte paintings are lamentable, camera zooms are pointless, song lyrics are goofy, and many background elements are unusually peculiar – such as mannequins substituting for extras (this would never happen, regardless of monetary shortcomings) and Jim Henson’s puppets utilized for multiple animal scenes (including owls, calves and a monstrous white jaguar). The easily observable fakeness of these creatures is all part of the game.