A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Fleming realizes that his daughter’s Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question.
THE REVIEW: Why Him? falls solidly into a guilty-pleasure kind of comedy for me. Not so much that I’m ashamed to admit I like a wild party setting or a family drama/confrontation at the center of the film, but more along the lines of there really is no good reason for why I enjoy a movie like this so much. A friend from home and I saw this movie looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve which was a good way to spend two hours for me, but not so much for him. He didn’t enjoy it because there was too many fart jokes and other James Franco (who plays Laird Mayhew) bad-boy routines that by this point are old hat.
Combine that with the dad humor of Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) and I would consider that an accurate description of the kinds of laughs this film has. The difference is that I found that funny and laughed fairly constantly throughout the film, while the rest of the theater remained mostly mellow and unresponsive. Again, I don’t have a good reason for why I find Why Him? so amusing; it tickles some itch that is hard to explain and hard to defend even. By all of my traditional logic, this is a solid three stars: good laughs but not a gut-busting comedy. Throw in Bryan Cranston and Gustav (hilariously played by Keegan-Michael Key) as well as a setting right up my wheelhouse (most of the film takes place in a single location — Laird Mayhew’s mansion) and Why Him? gets a ratings bump and added to a list of comedies I would keep on a to-watch list and recommend for a friends-gathering (though not a family movie night).
THE RATING: 4 out of 5