Why Him? (2016)

Why Him?
Director: John Hamburg
Writer: John Hamburg, Ian Helfer
Cast: Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Megan Mullally, Griffin Gluck, Tangie Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer, Keegan-Michael Key, Kaley Cuoco, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley
Seen on: 24.1.2017

Ned (Bryan Cranston), his wife Barb (Megan Mullally) and their son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) have been invited to spend Christmas with their daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) and her new boyfriend Laird (James Franco). When they meet Laird, though, Barb and particularly Ned are taken aback. Laird is filthy rich, but he is also very eccentric and has trouble with respecting personal boundaries. What’s even worse: he obviously wants to ask Stephanie to marry him soon. Can Ned learn to like and accept Laird?

Why Him? is pretty much exactly how you expect it to be: it’s filled with immature humor, very problematic in some places, but put altogether it could have been way worse than it was.

I didn’t expect much from Why Him?, except an opportunity to ogle James Franco (because I’m WEAK and he smiles SO PRETTY), but I had slight hopes that this film would be entertaining enough since I did like Cuckoo, at least as long as Andy Samberg was in it, and that pretty much follows the same basic idea. But I knew that the chances were slim. This is, after all, a film where one of the biggest gags is a bath in a pool of pee. Not exactly my thing.

And that’s not even touching on the premise that somehow Ned has to get on-board with Laird so that Stephanie may date him in peace. Stephanie is 22 years old and her dating life is most definitely her own. Her father’s job is to work on himself until he can accept her choices – even when he thinks that they may be bad choices – and not to test Laird whether he really is good enough for his daughter.

The movie does lampshade the fact that whether or not Stephanie should marry Laird is not Ned’s decision, but Stephanie’s, but that is one small scene towards the end of the film when the entire rest of the film goes totally against that position and revolves only around the dudes. And since Ned then does give his approval, the acknowledgement that the approval isn’t strictly needed is window dressing, nothing more, nothing less.

I feel like more would have been possible with the cast we got, but it would have needed a script willing to use at least two braincells per writer. Still, I’ve seen worse.

Summarizing: to get philosophical: it is what it is. And what that is, is pretty apparent if you watch the trailer. So if that’s your thing, go for it, by all means.

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