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Why Him?

Why Him?: Too Much Toilet Humour, Not Enough of Anything Else

  • Bryan CranstonJames Franco...
  • Comedy
  • John Hamburg
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Why Him?: Too Much Toilet Humour, Not Enough of Anything Else

There is nothing particularly appealing or funny about John Hamburg’s latest comedic vehicle, Why Him?. Painfully predictable and often tasteless, this feature tells of an overprotective father as he meets his future son-in-law for the first time. Besides the run-of-the-mill narrative, the film’s overworked R-rated premise and the abundance of forced, cheap jokes run it into the ground.

The story follows Ned Fleming (Cranston) and his family, including wife, Barb (Will & Grace’s very own Megan Mullaly) and teenage son, Scotty (Gluck), as they travel from Michigan to visit their twenty-two year-old daughter, Stephanie (Deutch), and her mysterious new boyfriend, Laird Mayhew (Franco) in L.A for Christmas.

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When they turn up at Laird’s modern and ridiculously high-tech Pal Alto mansion, however,  they are soon greeted by every parents’ worst nightmare; a foul-mouthed and tattoo covered millionaire who is ten years older than their daughter, and worst of all, doesn’t really understand the meaning of personal space.

Sitting through Why Him?, one can’t help but wonder why the Oscar-nominated Breaking Bad star Cranston took on what is a seemingly conventionally banal movie. In fairness, the seasoned actor manages to do reasonably well with what’s he’s given and digs deeply into his Ned’s reserved, suburban-dad, conservative ideals to give some value to his character. On the other hand, with a polar-opposite character to his co-star, Franco offers plenty of energy, but none of the laughs, coming across as grating more than entertaining.

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Despite their efforts,  the story doesn’t seem to have a natural flow to it and most of the scenes take a little too long to get their point across.  Filled with plenty of crudity, there is a never-ending supply of bathroom humor over its two-hour running time, though the lack of structure is one of the movie’s biggest flaws with the director being more interested in laying out the gags instead of finding a meaningful center point.

Vulgar and in dire need of an original joke, Why Him? is one big fat miss and it’s difficult to thin who might enjoy it – unless of course they prefer their comedy with a side of moose testicles.

Like This? Try

I Love You Man (2009), Meet the Parents (2000), Father of the Bride (1991)

360 Tip

The cast was apparently given the freedom improvise as much as they wanted to, which led to 240 hours of films.

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