Will Ferrell is funny in zesty 'Casa de Mi Padre' 

An unlikely spoof of telenovelas, Westerns and even grindhouse fare, “Casa de Mi Padre” is the slight, wacky and even briefly charming new comedy from Will Ferrell and his former “Saturday Night Live” collaborators.

Ferrell nails the Spanish — yes, the film has English subtitles — in this delightfully overblown saga about a Mexican ranching family that gets caught up in drug wars.

As the naive, simple son Armando, Ferrell’s over-the-top density (as a child, his character fatally shoots his mother in a reminiscing scene) is tempered by his honor and a sweetness that evokes sympathy.

Things change for the Alvarez family when Armando’s slick, drug-trafficking brother Raul (Diego Luna) brings home a gorgeous fiancee (Genesis Rodriguez, looking like Penelope Cruz), and Armando lands in the middle of a feud between his sibling and an even bigger drug kingpin (Gael Garcia Bernal).

Director Matt Piedmont, writer Andrew Steele and the film’s set and costume designers terrifically capture the spirit of Spanish-language soap operas and the scenery of a Western. The look of the hacienda is spot-on; a pre-wedding dinner with the extended family is priceless.

Delicious non-sequiturs abound, particularly a few goofy sequences with a mystical mountain lion.
Although silly and off-the-wall, “Casa de Mi Padre” is a fun and flavorful diversion.

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

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Leslie Katz

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Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

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