“Why Him?” | Movie Review

why-himGrade (B+)

This was a common genre film, but still delivered loads of crude laughs.

December isn’t just for Oscar contenders. Sometimes during the Holiday Season, you want to bring your tissues to the theater to simply wipe the tears from laughing your ass off, not from sobbing over a dramatic performance. So, does “Why Him?” succeed? Let’s get into it.

“Why Him?” stars; Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Zoey Deutch and it’s directed by John Hamburg. This story follows Ned and Barb Fleming when they travel out to see their college daughter and to meet her new boyfriend for the first time. The boyfriend is tech millionaire and completely unfiltered, something Ned will have difficulty accepting.

Now this was a pure cut-and-paste story. When we were in line for this one we were already guessing the plot points this script would create and for the most part we were spot on. But this film isn’t designed to deliver a creative story-line, its sole purpose is to make you laugh and for that aspect it succeeded. I laughed a lot more than I was expecting to and was entertained throughout with some extremely comical dialogue.

Cranston and Franco were good in this film but they were not much different from their past personas. Franco was pretty much his usual comical self and it worked for this film and in particular this role. Cranston was much like his “Malcolm in the Middle” dad role but it also was effective for this movie.

Their chemistry was good but nothing that would make this raunch-com stand out like say a “Wedding Crashers” did with the chemistry of Vaughn and Wilson. But it was serviceable, and they worked well off one another to create some amusing moments as the older Cranston resists adjusting to the over-the-top personality of Franco’s character.


There were also some strong side characters that all delivered some laughs as well and they help pass the time as the generic script progresses. Keegan-Michael Key was excellent, he created a hilarious side character and his imprint on this story was one of the more memorable aspects of it to me. Megan Mullally was also very good. Her role was extremely generic and could often be forgotten with a simple performance but with her comedic range she was able to make the most out the material and land some solid laughs as well.

There’s no denying this was an extremely dumb film, but if you laughed through the trailer you know not to expect one. It’s a simple; old versus young, new-age versus old-school theme, and despite the routine stops in the story there were still some laugh out loud moments and lines that make this film worth a shot. The energy in the cast performances shined to me, you can tell they aren’t just going through the motions, they embraced the material, had fun in their roles and it translate well on screen.

Sure, there are some dumb moments, there are some minor lulls in the pace, it routinely tries too hard, but all these movies do. The key is, do the laughs feel fresh, do they land with impact from the performances, and was the writing able to utilize the range of the cast, and for the most part I would say yes.

This film doesn’t break the mold by any means but if you think the trailers and promos for this comedy were funny then you enjoy this movie. It’s certainly on the crude side but it never hides that fact, it isn’t intelligent comedy, doesn’t make you think at all. But if you can get a chuckled out of a dad miss-using the word Bukkake in front of a bunch of people, then this film is up your alley. If that sounds horrible to you, I’d pass.