Film Review – Why Him? (2016)

While watching Why Him? The question I kept asking myself was Why Me? This tedious comedy is not without a few laughs but it is certainly lacks originality and its central joke wears thin early on.

Why Him? Tells the familiar story of a father disapproving of his daughter’s choice of boyfriend. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame plays the disgruntled father while James Franco plays the self made billionaire man child that his daughter is infatuated with. Cranston’s daughter (Zoey Deutch) thinks it would be a good idea for her family to come and stay with her boyfriend in order to see the good things about him. Things don’t go according to plan and Cranston and Franco clash leading to awkward and “hilarious” situations.

The film is so reminiscent of similar films, including Meet the Parents, which just so happens to have been written by the director of this film, John Hamburg. The only new aspects brought to the table here are incredible modern references which are so specific to today that this film will be almost un-followable in ten years.

Of course if you throw three jokes at the audience every minute some of them will hit their target, so I did chuckle a few times. The highlight in this film is Cranston. He has such a gift with comedy and occasionally works wonders with a weak script. One thing that I couldn’t get out of my head throughout the film was how I wish he was playing Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, a criminally underrated comic performance.

Why Him? Is instantly forgettable but there are a few laughs and Cranston as always is very likeable.

[rating=2] | Harry Davenport

Comedy | USA, 2016 | 15 | 26th December 2016 (UK) | Twentieth Century Fox Pictures |Dir.John Hamburg | Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Zoey Deutch,Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key