Why Him? is a film for those who are still clinging to that festive cheer. Unlike our friends on the other side of the pond, here in the UK the film, which is marketed as a Christmas flick, comes out on boxing day and therefore has little left of the holiday season to work with. Despite that, there’s plenty of cheer to be found here if you’re one for potty humour. If not, it may be pack this one away for the year.
Why Him? bases its narrative around a tried and tested formula, of which the best example is the director’s previous classic Meet the Parents. John Hamburg revisits that awkward meeting of inlaws, this time with James Franco and Bryan Cranston playing the father and son-to-be. Cranston’s father is a straightforward factory owner who lives in the simpler times of the past, whereas Franco’s son-t0-be is a multi millionaire gaming tycoon who’s crass and doltish persona leaves the two at loggerheads over their daughter.
From the moment you see James Franco’s naked backside plastered across a video projector at a family birthday party, you get a sense of the type of comedy about to be churned out here. It’s filled to the brim with dick jokes that you need to find some humour behind in order to get your fill of laughs with this one. If not, you may find some solace in the odd couple partnership of Franco and Cranston who are perfect together, and with each set piece their inherent likeability grows continuously.
Unfortunately, you really need to let yourself go for Why Him? There could be an argument for whether this brand of humour is the lowest common denominator out there, but with Franco’s lovable idiot and Cranston’s straight faced everyman this is a perfect mix. Even if you think you may be above jokes about ‘double dicking’ and Moose testicles, then get a drink down you while the holiday season is winding down and see if there may be a guilty pleasure to be found here.