Ned Fleming (Bryan Craston) is a loving father to his daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) and son Scotty (Griffin Gluck), as well as a caring husband to his wife Barb (Megan Mullally). For a long time, things always seemed to go according to plan, but that all seemed to change recently with his printing factory starting to run out of money. That looked to be the worst of it, or at least he thought that was the case until Stephanie announces that she’s secretly been dating an Internet billionaire for a few months now, inviting the whole family over to his place to meet him. His name is Laird (James Franco), an outgoing, open-mouthed individual who has Ned asking just one question… Why Him?
As proven through a number of different works, most noticeably Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is a force to be reckoned with. He’s an incredibly talented dramatic actor, but his comedic side is almost as good. Why Him goes to prove that, as he’s hysterical in this role. Also, I think it’s time we officially decree James Franco as being utterly insane, because that man is unstoppable. Is there nothing he won’t do in the name of comedy and/or acting? While his career is hit or miss, he’s undeniably a versatile actor, and Why Him once again lets his goofy side loose, and to great results. Cranston and Franco play off of each other well, and there are some moments that I won’t be able to forget any time soon.
I’m sure the target audience for this movie isn’t necessarily interested in a deep, sophisticated plot, as I know I definitely wasn’t expecting one, but it’s impossible to discuss this movie without bringing up its predictable nature. The basic plot works for what it is, but it’s stretched out to become as big as it can possibly be, and it does have a tendency to drag. The film is just nine minutes shy of clocking in at two hours, and for a film as simplistic in execution as this one, that shouldn’t be the case. A lot of the fat needed to be trimmed, leaving us with a tighter, potentially funnier version of an already funny movie.
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