‘Why Him?’ Movie Review


photo courtesy of LA and Mary Ellen Matthews

          A father’s worst nightmare is brought to life in “Why Him?” Bryan Cranston plays a hilarious role as Ned, an overprotective father who loves his family and wants them all to succeed. His daughter Stephanie is a student attending Stanford, and when she invites the family to meet her new boyfriend Laird (James Franco), Ned is uneasy because she had never mentioned him in the past year at school. Laird is depicted as a rich CEO who has no filter for what he says, and when his girlfriend’s parents arrive in town he greets them the best way he knows how, with a back tattoo of the family.

          The movie is centered around Laird’s constant battle for Ned’s consent to marry Stephanie. She feels torn between her love for her roommate boyfriend and her worn relationship with her disappointed father, who can’t understand why his smart, beautiful daughter would be dating a loser like Laird.

          One of the main themes of this movie is that Ned and Laird are different people from different worlds, one being filled with modern technology and zero hard work, and the other full of hardship and struggle. Ned owns a printing company that’s unfortunately underwater with debt, while Laird is the CEO of a modern video game company that is flourishing. The two are constantly struggling to see eye-to-eye. Throughout the film, Stephanie compares the two men in her life, and although her father thinks differently, it is later revealed that they are similar.

          Other important factors were supporting actors such as Megan Mullally and Griffin Gluck who respectively played mother and son, Barb and Ned Fleming. Mullally’s character was contrasted to her husband’s personality. Ned is constantly panicked and worried, Barb had a free spirit and went along with the chaos.

          Although this movie is very goofy, the comedy is amusing and laughable while accurately representing modern relationships. Even though this film has more than its share of funny moments, it is also filled with sentimental ones such as Laird’s love for Stephanie, and what he is willing to do for her. He wants her and her father to be successful, and wants to treat her like a queen. This movie is very relatable and the comic chemistry between Bryan Cranston and James Franco was incredible including the scenes of the over exaggerated son-in-law cursing constantly and being inappropriate in front of his girlfriend’s father.

          “Why Him?” has a surprising ending that even included special performance from the rock band KISS that should leave the audience smiling. Next time movie goers are in the mood for a laugh maybe choose “Why Him?” because why not?