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Un Padre No Tan Padre

Movie review by
Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Un Padre No Tan Padre Movie Poster Image
Mostly sweet Spanish-language comedy has some iffy stuff.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 94 minutes

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The commune only works if its residents communicate with one another and work together. When Servando gets to know the people in the commune, he starts to understand why they live the way they do and what he must do to help. Themes also include compassion and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Servando starts out as a terrible role model; he's homophobic, violent, and rude. His son, Fran, is kind and welcoming to everyone, but he also has flaws. The people who live in the commune help one another in many ways and are kind to Servando even when he's terrible to them. Everyone works hard to make the community work and care for each other.

Violence

Servando beats a nurse with a cane. He tries to burn down the pot nursery and gets stuck inside the burning structure. A character who has cancer dies from it. Servando bullies people to get them to do what he wants.

Sex

A couple makes out and rolls around on the floor. A woman poses nude for a portrait. Servando swims naked in a pool (but you can't see it). Crude comments.

Language

Strong language includes "f--k" and "crap." Some of the cursing isn't translated in the subtitles, but if you know Spanish, you'll hear the words. Also various slurs for homosexuals, and one rude remark about a black person.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke, sell, consume, and grow pot, as well as smoke cigarettes and drink. A character with cancer grows medicinal marijuana plants in the back of the commune. Servando eats pot brownies, which leads to a party with eating and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Un Padre No Tan Padre, a Spanish-language comedy with English subtitles, is a sweet, if somewhat edgy, film about what it means to be a family. Characters smoke, consume, grow, and sell pot, as well as drink and smoke cigarettes. Translated swearing includes "f--k," and there's a beating, a fire scene, partial nudity, a death, and homophobia. Main character Don Servando starts out bitter, mean, and closed-minded about everything, but he eventually comes around in surprising ways -- and the overarching themes include communication, empathy, and compassion. Parents and teens may like how Servando warms up to his new community, but the subject matter is likely too mature for younger kids.

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What's the story?

Servando Villegas (Hector Bonilla) wasn't a good father to his youngest adult child, Francisco (Benny Ibarra). But when Don Servando gets kicked out of his nursing home in UN PADRE NO TAN PADRE and has nowhere else to go, Francisco takes him in. Servando, who's already an angry, bitter homophobe, isn't happy when he finds out that Francisco now goes by Fran and lives in a commune with his girlfriend, a teen son Servando didn't know existed, and eight other people. After offending everyone in the house, Servando must face up to his failings as a father and what it really means to be part of a family.

Is it any good?

There isn't much surprising in this Spanish-language comedy, but that doesn’t mean it isn't fun to watch. Don Servando starts out as a pretty terrible human being, but it's not hard to guess that he'll eventually open his heart -- and his mind -- to the charming group of people in the gorgeous house/commune in San Miguel de Allende.

Servando, a bully with a cane that he loves to swing around (and hit people with), is played well by Bonilla; he grunts, he stares, he berates, and he sometimes does nice things – all in an appealing way. And the rest of the cast is delightful, including Ibarra. His Fran struggles not only with a terrible father, but also with his own talented son, who wants to go his own way. The commune is filled with interesting people from all over the world; they seem a bit like stereotypes at first, but they all have reasons for being there. The nontraditional family at the heart of Un Padre No Tan Padre may be fairly cookie-cutter, but you'll still enjoy getting to know them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Un Padre No Tan Padre's characters and story demonstrate communication, compassion, and empathy. Why are these important character strengths?

  • Three characters in the movie lie to their parents about how they live or how they want to live. Teens: Do you feel comfortable talking to your parents about your life and the future?

  • What should you do if a relative/close friend says something that offends you? Has that ever happened to you? Did you say something or let it go?

  • What audience do you think this movie is aimed at? How can you tell?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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