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| 11 January 2017 | Reply

Directed by John Hamburg
Starring Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Megan Mullaly, Zoey Deutch, Keegan-Michael Key
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Brace yourself: movie critics the world over are about to tell you that Why Him? is a ‘BAD’ movie – and they’re probably right. Why Him? is NOT a ‘good’ movie – it’s crass, features a predictable and derivative plot, and rarely rises above the low-brow humour that we expect from Jonah Hill (who co-wrote the story), Seth Rogan and the like.

That said, there are a wealth of ‘bad’ movies out there which are eminently enjoyable – where would the careers of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and a hundred horror movie directors be without ‘bad’ film? – and Why Him? is legitimately hilarious in parts.

James Franco is Laird Mayhew, the tattooed, inappropriately mouthy, über hip video game millionaire who’s head-over-heels in love with Stephanie Fleming, played by Zoey Deutch.

Stephanie’s kept her relationship with Laird from her parents – but a Skype chat-gone-awry blows that out of the water, much to the horror of Bryan Cranston as Dad Ned, who thinks the sun shines out of his daughter’s hoo ha.

Ned, his wife Barb (played with suitable reserved hilarity by Megan Mullaly) and underage son Scotty (a very funny turn from Griffin Gluck) journey cross country to meet Laird and – in Ned’s case – try to sabotage their daughter’s relationship.

Throw in Ned’s woes from a struggling business, Laird’s Kato-like butler Gustav, and a cameo by Paul & Gene of KISS, and you have the background for a variety of obvious – and often hilarious – set pieces.

You’ll know by reading the above if Why Him? will appeal to you or not. Franco does the loveable goofball well; Cranston seems to be positioning himself as a latterday De Niro; and the supporting cast are all on form – all that matters now is that you sit back and laugh at the parade of shockers on screen.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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