Thursday 29 December 2016

Film: 'Why Him?"

Now back in business following prolonged absence. I wish to express my gratitude once more to those of you enquiring after my welfare during my indisposition. Am 95% recovered now, thank you.

My final film of the year, like 2016 itself (largely), is a stinker. Spectacularly unfunny, gross-out 'comedy' which only drew me because of the presence of James Franco - someone who, I'm quite aware, is a great turn-off for a lot of people but for some curious reason I continue to find fascinating.  
He plays a heavily tattooed, brash and potty-motormouthed billionaire with huge gadget- and computer-driven home complete with nerdy staff and an unfunny, slightly campy bodyguard character who tries to keep Franco alert by subjecting him to surprise combat attacks, as was meted out to Inspector Clouseau in the 'Pink Panther' films which, incidentally, had also left me unsmiling. 
Franco is dating the daughter (Zoey Deutch) of parents Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally - whom I've not seen since 'Will and Grace' and would not have recognised her if I'd not known. 
The Franco persona invites the family (including a 15-year old son), the members of which he's not yet met, to spend a few days at his home - an entirely 'paperless' environment, so it's hardly a surprise that there's an extended 'jokey' toilet section. (Ha ha ha! Laugh? I did not!)
Franco's language is liberally peppered with coarseness in words and expressions, much to the horror and disapproval of both parents - though once the mother takes a sample of 'grass' her personality alters and she gets all flirty. Cranston, as the father. is adamantly opposed to his daughter's choice, notwithstanding the fact that Franco is on the verge of actually proposing, and making his new wife a President in his company. 
All so drearily unimaginative. To make matters still worse, the whole boring business is wrapped up in the final scenes by Cranston giving sage, homely, paternal advice to his daughter and her intended. Oh, PLEEEZE!

Director and co-story- and screenplay writer, John Hamburg, who was involved in 'Meet the Parents/Fockers' and both 'Zoolanders' has hardly stretched himself with this material. It's one of those films that I think will only appeal to those who have a very limited acquaintance with such 'comedies' to date - very much a 1970-80s thing, I think, with the formula practically unchanged, only the language assuming that the cruder it gets (including here an explanation of 'bukkake') ergo it must be funner. Wrong!..............2.


  1. Glad to have you back firing on all cylinders

    1. Ta, J.G. If I had to see a film that brought me back to Earth with a bump, I've now seen it!

  2. Glad you're back, I've missed your reviews.
    Now, about this one ... I have a mathematical equation that serves me well:

    James + Franco = NO!

    1. Thanks to you too, Bob.
      I can fully appreciate your aversion to J.F., though not sharing it myself.
      So I don't have to ask you if you'll be seeing his latest, playing a gay man who turns 'ex-gay' then? Thought not. Not sure if it'll get a theatrical release anyway, but if it does I dare say I'll go.

  3. Nice to have you back where you belong.

    Saw Franco's name, so the rating comes as no surprise. One bad picture after the other and most of them straight to VOD where I made the mistake of watching "King Cobra." BAD!

    Have you checked his filmography on IMDB? He has more films scheduled for release in 2017 than any other actor could do in several years.

    1. Thanks, Paul. This wasn't a good film to start my resumption of 'duty', but had to start somewhere.
      I wasn't aware that Mr Franco had made that many 'bad' films, though maybe the worst of them didn't get a proper release anyway.
      I haven't yet looked up his filmography, and am not really that keen enough to do so. I think I prefer to just take or leave them as they come, maybe more the latter than the former.

  4. Ray,
    Just catching up on your reviews now. Count me in among those who cannot stand James Franco. I love Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally and would see the film because of them but Franco totally turns me off. He is so impressed with himself. I've seen him in interviews and he is insufferable. I could never watch another film with him in it. Thanks for the warning.

    1. I was aware of your Franco-aversion, Ron, and I don't have a problem with that. It's interesting that he was the sole reason I went t see this film at all, the rest of the cast not drawing me one bit. Yet my reason for going would be the very same reason you'd stay away. From what you say about J.F. in real-life I think he must be playing himself in this so I can well appreciate your need to keep the film at an unwatchable distance.