Director: John Hamburg
Writers: Jonah Hill, John Hamburg
Starring: Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Bryan Cranston
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Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The straight-laced Ned thinks Laird, who has absolutely no filter, is a wildly inappropriate match for his daughter. The one-sided rivalry—and Ned’s panic level—escalate when he finds himself increasingly out of step in the glamorous high-tech hub, and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.
There are a ton of movie choices this holiday season. Some are very good. Others are not so bad. And, then, there is Why Him? It stands on its own level, its own level of not watchable. I make it a point to work-in something positive about every film I review. But, this one has zero redeeming qualities. The whole thing is crude and outdated.
It’s 2016! The premise of the film is that a ne’er-do-well in personality (but app mogul in finances) is trying to win the hand of the woman he loves over the objection of her father. The app mogul is played by James Franco, the dad is Bryan Cranston and the daughter is Zoey Deutch. If you see the theatrical poster, you will notice that Franco, Cranston and Deutch are all on it. However, only Cranston and Franco are credited on the poster. Deutch’s name doesn’t appear anywhere, not even in tiny letters. Take that sentiment and extrapolate it to the movie. Both of these men are combating over the future of a woman, and the woman is relegated to a second class role. No one seems to care what she thinks. My frustration was exacerbated because the plot makes the woman (Deutch) a college student at prestigious university, indicating that the character has a brain. The only other woman in the movie is relegated to an even lower class of role. I love Megan Mullally’s comedic abilities. They were wasted on Why Him? with Mallully playing a stereo-typical mom role.
The supposed humor isn’t funny, it is just crass. I am all for pushing the envelope, but submerging a moose in urine isn’t humorous. It isn’t novel. It’s just gross. And that is only one example. Same goes for inserting expletives into the dialogue for every third word. It isn’t creative. It’s lazy writing. The movie is figuratively full of moose in urine. The entire story is a series of ridiculously outrageous set-ups for jokes that fail to land. I didn’t laugh a single time.
The last ten minutes of the movie are sort of charming. There is a good cameo then. I won’t ruin that part, in case some of you still want to see this. But that is it. Ten good minutes. And those ten minutes are not funny, either. They are, at best, cute. I recommend you see anything else this holiday season. If, despite my best efforts, you still want to see Why Him?, it opens on .