Christmas time usually gets me thinking about the best and worst films of the year. The indifferent 2016 has produced some ground-breaking movies, but as with every year, it has come with some casualties. Why Him?, the comedy starring Bryan Cranston and James Franco potentially is the worst of the worst.The story follows the Fleming family who decide to spend the holidays visiting their daughter at college. They’re in for a shock however, when they discover that she has been secretly dating a Silicon Valley billionaire, Laird (James Franco), who has a wild edge – tattoos, distasteful language and sexually charged.
While the family slowly begin to come around to Laird, Ned (Bryan Cranston), the father, is struggling to be convinced and the pair create a calamity fuelled grudge match throughout the majority of the film. This all following the announcement of Laird’s intentions to marry Ned’s daughter, Stephanie (Zoey Deutch).
It’s easy to be overly critical of these movies – the kind of which that don’t take themselves too seriously and only exist for a few laughs. That said, when the film just isn’t funny at all and is forcing laughs out of its audience, then there’s a problem. The concerning issue is that this film was co-written by the usually reliably comical Jonah Hill and the man responsible for both Zoolander movies, John Hamburg (who also directs).
The role just isn’t right for James Franco, who in recent years has been overshadowed by his funnier younger brother Dave. More upsettingly however is the inclusion of the screen legend that is Bryan Cranston. It begs the question as to what convinced him to want to be a part of this movie with such a glowing CV behind him.
It’s difficult to find any positives to come out of this movie. There are perhaps a couple of promising cameos from the likes of Keegan-Michael Key and Adam Devine, but they’re not enough to make up for this epic let down of a movie, which is certain to be forgotten about in double quick time.