Spectra Film Review: Why Him?
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None of the comedy in “Why Him?” is going to stand out as authentic as the story is one we have seen, at least, a dozen times before. The key difference this time? His name is Bryan Cranston, and he is the best outcome for a movie like this. Cranston plays Ned Fleming, the head honcho of a family owned printmaking company who lives a quiet, fulfilling life, with his wife (Megan Mullally) and son (Griffin Gluck), while his daughter, Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) is away at college. Unfortunately, the parents get a wake up call (or Skype interface that offers hilarious results) when they find out Stephanie is seeing a free spirit, low IQ, foul mouthed millionaire named Laird (James Franco). So, at Stephanie’s request, the family flies out for a fun-filled holiday weekend in California to see what Laird is all about. Of course, with Laird’s free-flowing personality, which includes sharing very personal information about his love-life with Stephanie, Ned doesn’t see a bottom line. “Why Him?” then becomes the normal father vs. boyfriend montage seen, and executed in much better movies. Even if the laughs are all situational, seeing Cranston (in his first comedic role in a decade), is worth the sell. Him and Franco have a surprising rapid fire chemistry that delivers on the premise. There is also fun supporting work from Keegan-Michael Key as like a buddhist monk that helps train Laird to protect himself. “Why Him?” does overstay it’s welcome, often times never knowing when it’s the right time to end a scene, and the runtime clocks in about 30 minutes longer than it should, but the comedic elements should have no problem serving the core audience. “Why Him?” isn’t gold, but if not for Cranston willing to sacrifice himself for screwball gag comedy, this movie could have been an easy skip. B