Movie Review: Why Him?


Starring: James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullaly, Griffin Gluck, and Keegan Michael Key

Directed by: John Hamburg 

Release Date: December 23, 2016


James Franco is back yet again gracing the viewing public with his comedic genius.  Why Him?, however, contains an interesting collaboration of both Franco and Bryan Cranston. This movie did not reach all of its expectations but overall it was good enough for their first collaboration together.

This film starts off with Stephanie Fleming (Zoey Deutch) going on FaceTime with her older boyfriend Laird (James Franco). You can tell that he is very free spirited because of him inviting her over to “Netflix and Chill” which was code for intercourse with her while Netflix is playing in the background. Meanwhile, Stephanie’s dad Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) is enjoying his birthday along with his wife, Barb Fleming (Megan Mullally), his teenage son, Scotty (Griffin Gluck) and his co-workers of a printing company. Scotty then surprises him with a video chat with Stephanie while she is off at college. She invites her family, during the chat, to visit her at her boyfriend’s house for the weekend in Silicon Valley. Also during the chat, Laird sneaks into Stephanie’s room while she doesn’t notice and begins to get naked. It was not exactly a good first impression for the parents because they hadn’t met yet.

Ned isn’t that excited to meet the boyfriend but he goes to visit anyway with his wife and son. The Flemings did not expect for Stephanie’s boyfriend to be staying in a luxurious mansion with a manager, Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key), and a farm full of llama, buffalo and chickens. Stephanie tells her family another thing that they don’t know. Laird is a billionaire CEO of a game company that Scotty just so happens to like. Laird tries a bit too hard for his first impression because he is obviously an outspoken and hyperactive person who uses a lot of profanity. He even shows the family his brand-new tattoo of their Christmas card on his back. Also, he shows them his many weird antiques in his house such as his fat squirrel painting, statues made of wires, bowling alley and a stuffed moose in a tank of its own urine. What they have for dinner isn’t even normal. He hired a cook from a TV show who makes the guests smoked California bear, sea urchins, gooey duck and edible paper.  After the dinner, Ned questions Stephanie as to why would she choose Laird and her response is that Laird is a remarkable person who is just unique.

The main conflict is when Laird has an important chat with Ned in his private office in a teepee. He asks Ned for his blessing to marry Stephanie but Ned says no. Laird is confused and astonished from his response, so he proposes a bet. He says that if he can convince Ned that he can make Stephanie a good husband, he can be allowed to marry her. Laird feels so confident that he thinks Ned will soon be calling him son. Laird does quite a few things that he thinks can impress Ned enough. He throws a Christmas party in his honor but the night really went left when Scotty and his mom both became intoxicated. Laird really intrigued Ned when Ned saw what Laird does during his free time such as parkour, boxing with Gustav, creating more video games and feeding all the animals he raises. But it all goes downhill when both Laird and Ned get into a physical altercation after Ned tries to see how Laird is really a billionaire. He then finds out that Laird bought out the company that Ned works for so that he could improve it but once again Ned is not pleased. That is what triggers the Flemings to head home.

Laird doesn’t want things to end on bad terms, so he surprises the Flemings by bringing Stephanie home even though she didn’t want to see them. Ned couldn’t help but point out and agree how remarkable Laird was because of his honesty. Laird promised not to marry her if he didn’t make any better impressions. Ned set it all aside and gave him his blessing. The couple decides to marry after she graduates and Laird ends up winning over the Flemings like he wanted. A sequel for the film has been on the rumor mill in Hollywood but that may not be necessary. Why Him? receives 7 stars out of 10 stars.