Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Trailerspotting ponders Will Ferrrrrrrelllll

It is a completely insecure rule of thumb that any film whose trailer is thigh-slappingly amusing throughout is bound to be a dead loss. But I state that principle anyway. You suspect that the film-makers have panicked and thrown all …

Fri, Jan 20, 2012, 22:11

   
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It is a completely insecure rule of thumb that any film whose trailer is thigh-slappingly amusing throughout is bound to be a dead loss. But I state that principle anyway. You suspect that the film-makers have panicked and thrown all their best jokes into the promo. One becomes even more suspicious if that film is directed by an alumnus of the consistently dreadful Saturday Night Live. (On an aside, can anybody think of another phenomenon — cherry-flavoured soft drinks aside — that translates so badly when exported across the Atlantic?)

Anyway, Casa de Mi Padre looks really, really funny. If nothing else, it attracts interest for being a mainstream film shot entirely in Spanish. I love the opening gag that plays very nicely with the visual grammar of standard the melodrama. Will Ferrrellll talks to his lover’s back. Then, when she turns, he turns also. Ferrell is admittedly a bit erratic. His films generate as many groans as laughs. But the picture does feature one of cinema’s most underrated comedians. As a heartthrob, Gael Garcia Bernal is not wanting for admirers. But he doesn’t get enough credit for his exemplary comic timing. If you want evidence check out this fine promo. If you want more extensive proof then rent the superb Rudo Y Cursi, a picture that somehow slipped through the cracks in 2008.

Can they keep the joke — a pastiche of Mexican telenovelas — running for the full 90 minutes? We should find out in March. Or will we? This has the look of a film that might not get distributed in these territories. That would be a small outrage.

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