How do you write a review of a movie that everyone’s seen before?
I’m not saying everyone’s seen THIS movie but if you’ve seen films like Meet the Parents, Daddy’s Home and The Family Stone, you’ve seen them all.
Why Him? has dripped into the same mould as all of the above and what we’re watching isn’t new or particularly fresh. It has the same tender moments as anything in the ‘parents meet boyfriend/girlfriend’ genre. The same slapstick, the same witticisms. It’s all there in droves.
I always wonder why any heavy weight actor signs up to a project like this other than the money. These types of films, once they’ve had their cinema run, fall into obscurity and do barely anything to progress careers.
More and more though, writers and directors look towards your De Niros, Cranstons and Keatons to prop the movie up and bring the crowds in. Seemingly, with Why Him? grossing $57.6 at the Box Office, there’s still a market for it so the genre isn’t showing any signs of giving in just yet.
The big test of these movies is how enjoyable they are though. Whilst it’s going to come across like I hate Why Him?, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The issue I have is originality.
When you watch Why Him?, you’re getting what you pay for. There are no surprises but it certainly does its job well. This is thanks primarily to James Franco and Bryan Cranston. If any other actors has been cast in those roles, the movie simply wouldn’t have worked. We all know Franco is a great comic actor and his portrayal of the eccentric tech mogul played to all of his strengths and you can tell that he was at ease all the way through.
As for Cranston, it would have felt like putting on an old pair of slippers. He essentially channelled Hal from Malcolm in the Middle and reminded us just how good a comic actor he is. His timing, facial expressions and random flashes of rage were all brilliant and for me, he made the movie.
The supporting cast played their roles well too, especially Megan Mullally and Keegan-Michael Key.
As for the story, the opening was a little too cheesy for me but thankfully it picked up as the movie gained momentum. The gags were well timed and the idyllic lifestyle that Laird and his employees try to live played out brilliantly against Ned’s ‘classic’ ways.
Apart from the aforementioned Cranston, there were one or two moments that really made me laugh out loud and taking that into consideration, you can’t fault the ideas that John Hamburg and his team translated onto the screen.
The way I’d sum Why Him? up is simple. If you want a few laughs without having to really concentrate, give it a watch. You won’t be disappointed.
3* - Why Him? Why this again? Why…actually, it’s not that bad.