Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) plays Ned Fleming, who takes his family down to California for Christmas so they can all meet his daughter's new boyfriend, Laird, played by James Franco (Pineapple Express). First impressions get off to a rocky start but the entire gathering goes up in flames when Laird reveals that he's going to pop the question to Stephanie and would like Ned's blessing.
Why Him? comes from the director of I, Love You Man and has a pretty terrific cast. Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally (Parks & Recreation) are solid as Ned and Barb, but the real showman is James Franco as the obscenely profane and filterless Laird.
Why Him? is basically Meet the Parents with a bit of role reversal and the dynamics work well for the most part. Cranston and Franco bounce off each other quite well but the material they're dealing with is unfortunately lacking. The film gets off to an okay start, the laughs are regular enough and the characters are serviceable. As the film progresses, the laughs start to slow down, to the point where I wasn't laughing at all within the last 40 minutes and the characters are unbelievably cliched and hollow.
There is one character that fairly engaging and that's Gustav played by Keegan Michael-Key (Keanu). Gustav is Laird's "estate manager" and best friend, who will often jump out of nowhere and attack Laird as means of building up his self defence skills. Adam Devine pops in for a scene and he's funny but our central characters are all achingly predictable.
Why Him? is predictable, cliched, far too long and rarely funny. It takes a group of really talented actors and crams them inside one note characters. I'm giving the movie a 3.6/10.