Just because the movie formula of the future son-in-law battling his love’s dear old dad in films like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Meet the Parents and of course the aptly titled Son in Law has been done time and time again, doesn’t mean you can’t find laughs dealing with this subject. Especially when you have two great, but very different actors like James Franco and Bryan Cranston in the leads which is the case in the new R rated raunchy comedy Why Him?. The movie deals with a nice midwestern guy named Ned (Cranston) who takes his family to California to meet their daughter’s new boyfriend. The family falls into chaos when they meet Laird (Franco), a foul mouth tech millionaire with the thought process of a 16-year-old kid.
Franco plays every father’s worst nightmare in Why Him? and that’s what makes the film so hysterical at times as Cranston’s Ned is dumbfounded by his Stanford attending daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) and her decision to date this goof. Franco makes for some hysterically awkward comedy upon first meeting the family using the “F” word in every sentence causing the uptight family to pose the question “Why Him?”. Cranston is the perfect polar opposite playing the straight man role dealing with this charming lunatic with unlimited funds. Even though they are combatants for most of the film, the two actors have nice chemistry together creating major laughs as they try to sway Stephanie towards the direction they desire.
Why Him? also plays the fish out of water comedy angle with Cranston and his on-screen wife Megan Mullally as the midwest couple who get thrown into the eccentric California lifestyle full of comical Man-ssistants/advisors played by Keegan-Michael Key and animal art that will have you giggling when you notice it sprinkled in the background of Laird’s mansion. Cranston and Mullally have some humorous scenes trying to keep up with Laird’s lifestyle and habits. The supporting cast including the adorable Zoey Deutch who’s a star in the making does a fine job in Why Him?, but make not mistake. This is Cranston’s and Franco’s show as they bring the oddballs laughs throughout the film.
Why Him? is that edgy holiday comedy that fans will enjoy who felt they were given a lump of comedy coal from Office Christmas Party and Bad Santa 2. Like most comedies, the film struggles a little bit heading into the third act, but the laughs make up for the minor missteps. Why Him? also has a lot more heart than expected with the film showing you can’t always judge a book by its cover even if it’s littered with stupid tattoos, spouts profanities and makes you laugh when you shouldn’t. Franco and Cranston make a lovable oddball duo in Why Him? and a very enjoyable comedy team.
Overall, I give Why Him? 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell