Why Him? (2016)

Rated R
Try pairing with:  Cornish Meat Pie

Jen’s Rating:  B

So, why him, you ask? I say, why not? Sometimes the easy laugh movies are so stupid you don’t want to waste your time. I thought “Why Him?” was going to be just that however I was fortunately wrong.  There was definitely a lot of slapstick but the movie had a plethora of originality.  In fact, there were a few jokes Jeremy and I said to one another a few times.

James Franco is a great comedic actor. In this movie he played Laird Mayhew, a foul-mouthed tech genius millionaire.  Laird is dating college student Stephanie Fleming, played by Zoey Deutch who is brought up in a hardworking straight-laced suburban home. She invites her family to visit during the holidays to Lairds mansion in Silicon Valley.  This experience was very different for each family member.

Stephanie’s father Ned, played by Bryan Cranston is the owner of a once successful printing company, which is currently failing due to technology.  He failed to see how his family was growing apart from him because he was too focused on disliking Laird and trying to save his company.

Stephanie’s mother Barb, played by Megan Mullally learned that her marriage wasn’t doing so well. While Stephanie’s brother Scotty, played by Griffin Gluck was trying to learn how to be business savvy so he could someday take over the family business.  Plus, there was a spectacular cast with Bob Stephenson as Jerry the graphics guy and the comedic bonus of Kaley Cuoco as Justine the digital assistant throughout Laird Mayhew’s estate.

This movie has a top-notch comedic cast, which makes it so good. Why Him? gets a B from me for several reasons but mainly because it was hilarious and heartwarming.  If you’re looking for a funny movie where you don’t have to think too much and don’t mind bad language, this is for you!

Jeremy’s Rating:  C+

Why Him? Is a relatively run-of-the-mill recent comedy from John Hamburg, starring
James Franco as tech mogul Laird Mayhew and Bryan Cranston as Laird’s potential father-in-law, Ned Fleming.  When Ned’s daughter Stephanie makes the announcement that she has a boyfriend, seemingly serious boyfriend, she invites her family to Silicon Valley to meet him.  Unbeknownst to Ned, Laird is an eccentric, very wealthy mobile app development company owner, who has a penchant for the gross and sexual.  Upon meeting Laird, Ned becomes very uncomfortable that this would be the relationship that his daughter would choose to be in, and the humorous bits ensue.

There are some particularly funny scenes in this comedy, but nothing to write home about.  Most of the big laughs come from little one-liners and small quips, many of the set piece jokes are set up very early into the film and you can see them coming.  One particular part that comes to memory involves a large amount of urine.  My favorite interaction actually comes between Ned and the advanced Japanese toilet he is attempting to use to go to the bathroom, which quickly devolves into a funny and very mortifying situation.

While I was not really impressed with Why Him?, I wouldn’t steer you away from it.  It was worth a rental price, but I would suggest waiting until it is on premium channels if you subscribe to any of them.  It is a fun, light film that doesn’t require much investment to attention or detail, so you can easily watch it on an evening that you are multitasking, or doing work at the same time.  For its failure to truly shine and the fact that it is just slightly better than average, I give this one a C+.

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