Starring: Gonzalo Vega, Karla Souza, Luis Gerardo Méndez
Director: Gary Alazraki
Running Time: 108 mins
The Noble Family (Nosotros los Nobles) is a Mexican film about a wealthy businessman who decides to teach his three spoilt adult children a lesson by cutting them off from their assets and forcing them to get a job.
This is an excellent film. Not only does it work brilliantly as a simple comedy, featuring fantastic humour and brilliantly lively performances across the board, but it’s also an engaging and uplifting sort of fable, with a great moral compass that’s never too preachy, but still manages to instil enough drama to make for a fully riveting watch from start to finish.
But let’s start on the lighter side, with the comedy itself. Although its premise, featuring three spoiled chidren in a riches to rags story, may seem like the perfect set-up for an infuriating two hours, the film manages to balance using their spoiltness perfectly with all other sorts of humour.
So, on the one hand, there are a lot of laughs watching these three thrust into the real world, and struggling to cope without being constantly pampered, getting menial jobs and complaining to heaven and back about how rubbish their new lives are.
On the other hand, the film also balances that out with a lot of simple slapstick, a few comical side stories about the main characters’ work relationships, while also managing to keep the father figure on the ground by putting his plan to teach his kids a fair lesson in jeopardy in all sorts of ways, meaning that the story never stops moving and nor does the comedy.
Another reason that the film is so funny is because of the performances. Karla Souza and Luis Gerardo Méndez are great as two of the spoilt children, and although their onscreen sibling, played by Juan Pablo Gil, doesn’t have quite as much to do, the two of them impress hugely with convincingly whiney yet consistently entertaining and lively comedic performances, all the while making their characters’ arcs from wealth to total poverty fully believable.
But it’s not just the comedic side of the performances that works so well, because all of the actors also put in some very likable and convincing dramatic turns that give the film’s more fable-esque side a lot more meaning. Again, Souza and Méndez are great in this department too, somehow managing to play spoilt adults without making you want to punch them in the face, which in turn means that when they eventually come round to being a fair bit less selfish and such, you do feel glad to have been on the journey with them.
What’s more is that Gonzalo Vega, who plays the father, is just great in all respects. He’s surprisingly funny throughout, despite his character not being the comedic centre of the movie, but what works above all is his strongly likable persona, as Vega shows the character’s moral compass clearly throughout, and manages to turn in a performance that’s warm enough to show that his character genuinely wants to teach his children a life lesson, rather than because he’s simply fed up of them using his money to be layabouts, something that makes him just as entertaining as anyone else on screen.
On the whole, The Noble Family is a very funny film, but it also succeeds because of its moral-focused story. Sure, it’s not the world’s most intelligent film, but it’s a very simple and completely relatable story of appreciating the value of hard work and earning your way, a central theme that impressively never comes across as preachy or arrogant, but rather fully genuine, almost as if the film is there as a fable for the ages.
Of course, that’s a little bit of an overstatement, but it proves that the film is more than a simple comedy. It’s a very funny film, and with great performances across the board, it’s a really entertaining watch, but its dramatic side makes it that little bit more special, proving just as interesting and emotionally engaging a watch as it is funny, which is why I’m giving The Noble Family a 7.9 overall.