Why Him? tells the story of reasonably protective husband and father, Ned (Bryan Cranston) meeting his beloved daughter, Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) eccentric and wily boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). It also stars Megan Mullally, Griffin Gluck and Keegan-Michael Key and is directed by John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You, Man).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
The first film I will ever watch in the year 2017 and it turned out to be Why Him?…
Well, I guess there’s no way to go but up from here, right?
So everybody in this movie is essentially a cartoon. James Franco’s character is a weird tech millionaire who is apparently a genius at programming fucking code yet doesn’t realize it’s inappropriate to make out with your girlfriend in front of her parents who you’ve only met fifteen minutes ago. Bryan Cranston has understandable doubts about his daughter dating this strange man yet we’re supposed to be disappointed with him when he wants to learn more about his finances. Megan Mullally actually has a couple humourous moments, particularly when dealing with her libido. Zoey Deutch surprised me because I thought her performance was pretty genuine and there was this younger brother that I could not stand. I enjoyed the dynamic between Cranston, Mullally and Deutch and although Griffin Gluck’s portrayal of the son actually wasn’t that bad, his character was insufferable. Every time a sequence focused on him I wanted to fast forward what was occurring on the screen while I was in the theatre.
Speaking of wanting to fast forward, good god man. There were more than three times where I REALLY wanted to skip forward certain scenes because they lingered on way too long. Certain jokes went on way too long. You have to know when to quit while you’re ahead and the Pink Panther reference and the sequence with Emmy-Award winner Bryan Cranston attempting to wipe his ass on the toilet just wouldn’t end. Keegan-Michael Key’s floundering German(?) accent I kind of could have done without, although the running joke of him attacking Franco’s character was humourous. There was one character named Kevin that is genuinely one of the worst characters I have ever seen in a comedy. He is openly discussing the feelings he has for Deutch’s character while his wife and children are two feet away. His weird adulterous trait was supposed to make me laugh and it just failed big time.
The Other Aspects To ‘Why Him?’
There were a couple obvious audio dubs I noticed and I laughed maybe three or four times throughout Why Him? I really like everybody in the film which is why this ultimately is such a disappointment. I thoroughly love Hamburg’s 2009 comedy, I Love You, Man and I will give it to Why Him?, it is an aesthetically pleasing-looking movie similarly to how I Love You, Man utilizes those sharp pastel colours beautifully. Kudos goes out to Kris Kachikis‘ cinematography work in this film. Unfortunately, the belly laughs the latter gives me does not compare to the occasional air-out-of-my-nose moments Why Him? gave me.
I am happy that it looked as nice as it did and it contained actors I genuinely enjoy watching because virtually every other aspect to it I couldn’t stand. The laughs are cheap, the pacing is terrible and the main conflict is barely a conflict because Laird is such a nice, honest and wealthy guy! The film attempts to make him a more sympathetic character by expanding on his backstory of abandonment however I don’t necessarily think not knowing one’s father would make them drop their pants and gyrate around while their significant other is Skyping their family…
There is also an unforgivable continuity error involving the Christmas classic, Home Alone that I will slap on a SPOILER ALERT: the establishing shot of the “hacking scene” inside Kevin’s house involves his family watching the part in Home Alone where Kevin McAllister finishes his shower and is prepping himself up to go grocery shopping… The end of that scene utilizes Catherine O’Hara‘s “KEVIN!” moment on the plane to illicit humour to end the hacking scene… Her yelling KEVIN on the plane occurred within the first like twenty minutes of Home Alone and the shower scene was like, more than halfway through. Did they rewind back to the KEVIN part just because they liked it so much? Or did they know their dad was going to fuck something up so they just queued it exactly to that part? WHY DID YOU DO THIS, MOVIE? END SPOILER.
If you’re looking for a subpar raunchy comedy and feel the need to say, “why are they doing this? … Oh right that yacht they’re saving up for…” check out Why Him?
For More Fun, Check Out The Following:
- Nine Lives (2016) Review
- Fences (2016) Review
- Evan Rachel Wood’s Five Best Moments As Dolores From HBO’s Westworld
Why Him? receives 1.5/5 Matt Damon heads