WHY HIM? (2016)
It’s understandable that this holiday flick earned itself a solid audience rating but less than satisfactory critical reviews. I don’t think Why Him? has what it takes to be a classic, and it’s probably not going to age very well. But even if it won’t contribute much to the cinematic universe, it was raunchy and fun, and I had a great time watching it with friends.
Why Him? Is your classic Father vs Fiancé story, played out to the extreme with solid performances by James Franco and Bryan Cranston. It’s full of moments of slapstick, toilet humor, and overtly sexual jokes, and if that’s your thing, perfect. If it’s not, depending on what degree of it’s not applies to you, you might still see some appeal. Even if the film’s humor tends to use physical jokes as a vehicle instead of clever dialogue, every subgenre of comedy has its moments, and Why Him? manages to strike a few good chords. For instance, a dead moose suspended in its own urine is probably the most…creative Chekov’s gun I’ve ever experienced.
What struck me the most about Why Him?, though, was the intensely genuine nature of Franco’s character Laird. Early on, you’d expect this eccentric oddball to reveal himself to be an irredeemably evil sack of assholes in order to gain the distrust of Cranston’s father character. But he’s not. He seems to truly care about his girlfriend, and he’s determined to make a good impression when he’s finally introduced to her family. The point of it is, Dad-ston spots his flaws immediately, and magnifies them. To a dad, all prospective fiancés probably look like Laird.