With a title like “Casa de Mi Padre” you might be expecting the latest from Pedro Almodovar at the movie theater this weekend. After all, Spanish language releases are few and far between without a big name behind it, right? Right.
Enter Will Ferrell. Maybe you’ve seen the ads for “Casa” and wondered if you were watching a trailer spoof of a telenovela crossed with a spaghetti western? Well you’re sort of right, except “Casa de Mi Padre” is less a spoof than a demented extrapolation and it ain’t just a trailer. It’s a feature film and here are five reasons to see it.
» Will Ferrell does NOT speak Spanish: Well, he does in the movie, but not in real life, and that’s the point, the astounding point. Ferrell portrays Armando Alvarez, the black sheep of a Mexican family portrayed by Spanish speaking actors (as one would do). Ferrell learned his lines phonetically and flawlessly (if I’m to trust those who are fluent). Talk about degree of difficulty for an actor! This is remarkable Daniel Day Lewis/act with one foot territory. I’m serious. What Ferrell does here is audacious and awesome. Imagine one of the world’s greatest improv comics being robbed of that very skill and still be hilarious.
» Genesis Rodriguez: Memorable name, right? Genesis is the female lead in this bizarre tale (betrothed to Diego Luna but destined to be with Ferrell) and makes an impression with her beauty, certainly, but also her skill as the “straight man” to Ferrell’s oaf. This is Rodriguez’s first film role (she shot “Man on a Ledge” afterwards) but judging from her charisma on-screen and off (she’s a ball of energy in interviews), she’s a definite one to watch.
» Gratuitous Nudity: Now don’t get too excited, you pervert. Yes, there’s a hot and heavy interlude between Rodriguez and Ferrell that will never be forgotten, but it’s all for comedic effect. It’s one of the highlights of the film. I don’t want to ruin the scene but I will say this, if you remember “Old School,” you’ll know Ferrell doesn’t mind showing his ass on screen. Well… that was just an amuse bouche for this.
» Supporting Players: While most of the film rests on Ferrell’s capable shoulders, look for scene stealing moments from Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna (together again). Both chew some ample scenery even while playing it relatively straight (well, most of the time). And one delivers a deliciously memorable death scene. Meanwhile, if you’re a Nick Offerman fan (and if you’re not what the hell is wrong with you?), look for his fun small turn as the obligatory ugly American. Or is he…