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RATING: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

My parents enjoy watching Spanish television. As a kid I would sometimes sit with them and watch old Mexican movies and telenovelas (Spanish language soap operas). I probably enjoyed watching these for an entirely different reason as my parents. I found much amusement in the obvious low budgets, the crazy hammy acting, and sometimes ridiculous writing. I do remember being sent away by my parents because my laughter would take away from their enjoyment of the shows. During SXSW, I had the pleasure of viewing a movie which spoofs these movies and novellas which gave me much pleasure and amusement growing up. CASA DE MI PADRE took me back to these good ole days and I truly enjoyed this nostalgia trip.

Will Ferrell plays Armando Alvarez, a sweet and simple rancher who has yet to earn the respect of his brother Raul (Diego Luna) and his father Miguel Ernesto (the late Pedro Armendariz, Jr.). When Raul returns home to visit his family and introduce his fiancé Sonia (the beautiful Genesis Rodriguez), trouble follows behind him closely. Raul has gotten himself and the family in deep trouble by getting involved in drug trafficking. He has crossed the wrong drug kingpin, the most feared one in the region, a man known as Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). When things get serious, Armando has to step up save his family.

I truly love the script by Andrew Steele and director Matt Piedmont does tremendous work here. There are so many hilariously wonderful things about this movie. There are just too many to list and if I did list them all, it would spoil the fun. In short, the sets, the costumes, and the gags all work so well. Everything comes together so beautifully! I had such a great time watching this movie. Steele and Piedmont obviously know Mexican movies and television well and it shows. Granted, this idea really isn’t original. Tarantino and Rodriguez did something strikingly similar with their GRINDHOUSE double feature. Still, while the idea is the same, Steele and Piedmont celebrate and lampoon a different target.

The performances by the cast come close to perfection. Will Ferrell really impressed me with his grasp of the Spanish language. He does have his off moments; however, these don’t occur very often in the film. Ferrell and the rest of the cast obviously had an awesome time making this movie. The audience in attendance at the SXSW screening also had fun, myself included.

I will recommend this as a full priced ticket. The movie provides so much entertainment that it is worth the price of admission. I would like to see it again, but with my parents in tow. I think they would enjoy it, and this time, perhaps we can all laugh together.