Over the holidays, Ned, 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 millionaire boyfriend, Laird. The rivalry develops,and Ned's panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.Written by
20th Century Fox
Not as Bad as I Expected, But Also Nothing Special
The trailer for a movie can really get the viewer excited for a movie, or it can completely turn the viewer off. Why Him? unfortunate does not just have a trailer that falls into the later category, but is one of the worst trailers I can remember seeing. Not only did I not want to see the movie after seeing countless commercials for it, I actively wanted to hate it, if not just for that rock throwing gag that feels like the first thing cut out of Meet The Parents. Why Him? is not a comedic classic by any stretch, but the trailer really does a bad job of really conveying what the movie is really about, but honestly I don't even really think the movie knows what it wants to be.
Why Him? starts off pretty well. Young collage student falls for an eccentric tech billionaire, who through the course of the movie makes some questionable choices regarding his actions around her family over a holiday weekend. The trailer would have you thinking you were in for a grand competition between James Franco and Bryan Cranston, but the movie makes efforts to prove that is not what is going on here. As the movie goes on it become more and more difficult to ignore what feels like a last minute addition of a Christmas setting by the studio to draw some of the holiday crowd, or the incredibly over the top use of dirty language. That is one of the worst advents in comedy movies over the last 25 or so years. Constant use of bad words do not make movies funnier and kids cursing does not count as good comedy.
Why Him also suffers from the problem of not knowing what it is exactly about. About halfway through the movie, almost every character has proved them to be self centered or downright dis likable in some way shape or form, and they run into the problem where none of the easily predictable outcomes is really a good ending for the characters. This turns the ending into a mess where none of the emotional beats are even close to being well executed or satisfying.
Other than the two lead roles, none of the characters get much to do. They seem to be missing for whole chunks of the movie and then brought back to help make a bad gag work and then we head back to the two leads. James Franco is actually pretty good here for about as much as he could do. His character is unlikable when he needs to be and can steal your heart in the next scene. To be fair this is basically the same role Franco has been doing for the last 3 years, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. Bryan Cranston is a funny dude, his role as Dr. Tim Whatley on Seinfeld is a beautifully subtle comedy role and then he really knocked it out of the park as the Dad in Malcolm in the Middle. He does not get to use any of the real comedic talent he has accrued in his career, rather being stuck to being the incredibly straight guy who for some reason has a "crotch chop" as his signature bowling move.
Why Him? was not as bad as I expected, and while I understand that this is not the best way to talk a movie up, but really it's not that bad. I can't in good conscious recommend it, but I am sure there are people out there who like it and I can understand why. There is actually a decent foundation for an interesting comedy movie here, and I don't know what exactly happened along the way but Why Him? stinks of studio tampering and cuts. Not to mention the movie is way too long, at 1 hour and 51 minutes you are probably better off just leaving 20 minutes early and making up an incredibly generic movie ending, because trust me it will probably be better than what was actually filmed.
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