By Jose Cruz, OurTiempo.com
There has been no question to how this site has felt about this Friday’s release of the new film Casa De Mi Padre. Even before the first trailer came out we were told that Will Ferrell had just made a film all in Spanish and that was enough to get us on-board.
Yet inevitably the issue will arise, whether or not this is a good thing for the community. Why do we need a white actor playing a Latino? Is this just out to make fun of stereotypes? Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. I listed Nacho Libre as one of my favorite next-gen Latino movies and that had a white guy playing a luchador in Mexico speaking broken English.
Funny is funny, and aren’t we at a point where we can laugh at ourselves? So the real test of this movie is simply- does it make you laugh? Is it a good movie? Will Farrell rarely disappoints and from what the trailers have shown us I’m optimistic. But taking this from a pure “what does it mean for our community” view point, we should welcome the film with open arms. Most next gen Latinos I have spoken to are thrilled. You have a comedian as big as Will who taught himself our language just to do a movie. Doesn’t this speak volumes of where we are and how we are impacting Hollywood? Yes, there needs to be more Latinos cast in leading roles and we are getting there. But in the meantime, we should welcome the cross-overs.
Casa De Mi Padre was tailor made for our audience, and again only from what we have seen, it seems to poke fun at the stereotype a joke when done correctly can be amazing. One of the reasons I love Nacho Libre is that although it totally pokes fun at stereotypes it also shows the delicate beauty of a culture. The macho, romantic, ranchero is a ripe icon for this. If it is done well, we will all be laughing.
Let’s see the movie and if it is not funny, then it is just a bad movie. But if you are criticizing it for having a white leading character speaking Spanish then you’re not getting the first joke, so you probably won’t get the rest. But as for a white guy playing a Mexican ranchero- Imitation is the best form of flattery.