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Why Him? Review

Updated on March 30, 2017
Why Him? theatrical poster featuring James Franco (Left), Middle (Bryan Cranston), and Right (Zoey Deutch).
Why Him? theatrical poster featuring James Franco (Left), Middle (Bryan Cranston), and Right (Zoey Deutch).

Why Him?

Directed and written by John Hamburg, Why Him? is a comedy starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston.The story is centered around Stephanie Fleming (Zoey Deutch) who forgets to mention she has a super rich, man-child for a boyfriend. The hilarity ensues during a family vacation that her father (Bryan Cranston) will not forget anytime soon. The film was released on December 23, 2016.


The narrative focuses around Stanford student, Stephanie Fleming (Zoey Deutch) and her (secret) boyfriend. When she talks with her family via FaceTime, her boyfriend Laird Mayhew (James Franco) unknowingly interrupts the call. His first impression is definitely not the best. Her father, Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) is a tense and conventional person. So needless to say he immediately takes a disliking to him. However, fast forward and the family is invited to his luxurious estate for a face to face meeting. The comedic tone of the movie is immediately set when he welcomes the family as the "motherfucking Flemings!" The rest of the plot takes the girl-bring-home-boyfriend narrative and turns it into an a bundle of side-splitting laughs and random, nonsensical moments.


The film's tone is very much light and many of its components don't make sense; however that's what makes the movie hysterical. The Siri-like artificial intelligence Justin (Kaley Cuoco), free-range animals in his backyard, and paper that you can actually eat (does that really exist) are all examples of the film not taking itself seriously. This leads to a never-ending amount of silly, entertaining, and random moments! The dialogue uses profanity as a for cheap laughter—and it works. Guest appearances by comedians such as Cedric the Entertainer, Adam DeVine, Casey Wilson, Zack Pearlman, and Keegan-Michael Key (Gustav) all add to the comedic atmosphere of the film.

Why This Film?

It's a Christmas movie at heart but it's more much than that. Even through its hilarity, the film manages to bring home heart-warming messages. Family is what's most important. Don't judge a book by it's cover. And to accept others the way you would want them to accept you. It's remarkable that such a film with all its ludicrous, hair brained antics can deliver such deep messages. Bryan Cranston utilizes his sitcom roots (MITM) and plays off James Franco's natural comedic flair. I laughed really hard while watching this movie and it's been a long time since I've been able to say that.

Why Him? is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, Amazon Video, and ITunes.


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