Director: John Hamburg
Talent: Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer
Released: 26th December
New and old media clash in Why Him? Bryan Cranston is Ned Fleming, Midwest printing mogul and family man. But Ned’s happy existence is turned upside down when he visits his daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) for Christmas and meets her uncouth, tech-bro boyfriend Laird (James Franco). This is a well-worn comedy formula but the film fails at establishing a worthwhile rivalry between Laird and Ned. Humiliation is the order of the day for both parties.
The jokes are loud and broad with little to no payoff. It’s a pity, as the cast is made of a number of talented performers, that any or all of this movie’s potential is squandered following its cold-open. This has been a particularly poor Christmas season for comedy releases but Why Him? tops the thoroughly unfunny Office Christmas Party with its botched attempts at joke-writing. This largely laughless comedy will have you thinking ‘why me?’ as you leave the cinema, eight quid poorer and none the happier for it.
Words – Luke Maxwell