Casa de mi Padre makes no bones about that fact that it is not for everybody. The telenovela spoof with unapologetically cheap production values revels in the retro and weird, proudly humming along to its daffy spaghetti western tune as if every wild moment is entirely plausible. Casa stars Will Ferrell as Armando Alvarez, a dimwitted Mexican ranchero that “loves the land more than he loves the woman.” Armando is catapulted into a love triangle and drug-war when his morally corrupt brother Raul (Diego Luna) and Raul’s fiancé Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) return home to marry and take over the territory of the reigning crime lord Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).
In a scene preceding the bloody climax, Armando, shot and left for dead, is rescued from a man-eating coyote by a talking animatronic wildcat that serves as motivator, shaman and, presumably, medical doctor. Oh my! The charm of Casa is in how it approaches its melodramatic story and outrageous characters with equal parts goof and earnest, keeping all over-the-top comedic outbursts grounded in the world it has created.
With few laugh out loud moments, the film is best appreciated for its free-spirited confidence and gleefully offbeat dialogue. The decision to interrupt an imminent battle between the anamatronic wildcat and man-eating coyote over the lifeless body of Armando Alvarez represents a missed opportunity. Note to director Matt Piedmont, we want to see a wildcat fight a coyote over Will Ferrell while he plays dead. Make it a miniature puppet battle over a mannequin if you need to, just as long as we get to see it. Actually, that would be awesome!