Review: Why Him? (2016)

Why God Why?

Yes, It’s January. The midst of it to be precise and I have kickstarted my 2017 moviegoing experience with a Christmas/romantic/comedy movie starting Bryan Cranston and James Franco. It wasn’t my choice, I was hypnotized, tied up, a gun was held against my head and if I didn’t oblige I was gonna see the face of god.

Well, leaving the exaggeration aside I went to see it with a friend. It was her request and she was indulgent enough to convince me. There is always something good in the bad stuff at least for the purpouse of forming your character. And I think this is the case. Why Him? tells the story of a father (Cranston) whose young and beautiful daughter (Zoey Deutch) is going to marry a multimillonaire/hipster/hippie entrepreneur played by James Franco.

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he typical structure of the father reluctant to let her precious daughter go unfolds but it fails to reach the level of comedy and warmth of such classics as Father of the Bride (1991) or Meet the Parents (2000). In exchange, we get a movie where the son-in-law buys the affection of all the bride’s family. Even of the father, who tries to find some stain or negative aspect in Franco’s character in order to convince her daughter not to marry him but fails eventually and gives up to the love provided by the green paper.

This is a movie where everybody has a price and money is the key for a happy life filled with love and Kiss music.

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Two things I can say are good in the film: Kiss’s music and cameo and also Megan Mullally, who plays the moher of the bride and proves a very sexy MILF. The acting in general is well achieved, specially Cranston who kind of goes back into his Malcolm In The Middle character but helps by giving rhythm and tension to the silly plot. James Franco’s performance gives the idea that he doesn’t really care about the film. He is just being himself and if you see the movie you will be the judge if that is a good or a bad thing.

It’s important to mention that the director of the movie, John Hamburg, is a very talented man. He co-wrote Meet the Parents, Zoolander (2001), Meet the Fockers (2004), Little Fockers (2010) and Zoolander 2 (2016). He also directed Along Came Polly (2004). Unfortunately all this brightness and genius is nowhere to be found in Why Him?.

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Maybe Jonah Hill’s input in the writing of the story didn’t help. Who knows… The only reason I laughed (or tried to laugh) at some of the jokes was to not give my friend the impression of being an embittered man and also because she would poke me with a stick everytime she would laugh and I wouldn’t. I really like my friend and I would do this kind of sacrifice again for her sake rather than for movies like these. A predictable story and a very lousy repertoire of silly gags and jokes makes me want to go and watch some of Hamburg’s previous work and hope that he won’t try to sell me this kind of dull humor again.


IñaIñaki Oñate / Writer (Quito, Ecuador – 1988) Iñaki resides in Buenos Aires, where he studied film directing at Universidad del Cine. His short films have been part of the official selection at the New York, La Habana and Cannes festivals.  He’s currently developing his first feature film with his own independent production company, Undergofilms. He also works in music and art illustration.

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