Movie Review: Why Him?

As for the release of the new comedy movie Why Him? starring Bryan Cranston, a better title would have been, Why This Movie? I recently saw Cranston being interviewed in 60 minutes and the interviewer asking him about Breaking Bad and his success in so many different movies and even on Broadway, where he played Lyndon Johnson. He responded that he was on a mission to strike while the iron was hot and make as much money and as many movies as he can before his winning streak finally ends. Unfortunately, it is clear that by making this bad movie that he could not find a way “do both”. That is, make a high-quality comedy movie and also make the money too. Of course, Cranston read the script for this movie, realized it was a pretty bad script but he took the part anyway, either for the money or perhaps to do a favor for someone or because he wanted to please his contacts so in the future they may come up with something much better. So, 6 months of his time is wasted and millions of dollars are spent and another bad movie is made.

This movie also stars Cedrick the Entertainer , Megan Mullally,
James Franco and Zoey Deutch who are all talented actors and who all read the script and still agreed to do this bad movie. My theory is that the movie business is so fleeting and precarious that if you turn down any offer, you might be perceived as difficult and you might not get another role. The strangest example of this phenomenon is early this year when Robert Deniro took the lead role in Dirty Grandpa, which was an absolutely horrible movie. It seems for many actors who make movies, that its money first and then integrity.

The entire plot of this movie can be summarized very simply. An internet millionaire gets involved with an attractive and 10 years younger Stanford Student and when his parents meet him, they find out he is a foul-mouthed disgusting lowlife. From this point on this film mostly slapstick and mostly unfunny series of scenes that mostly didn’t work and there were very few laughs in the theater I was in, which is always my acid test for all comedy movies. A prime example of the raunchy disgusting path this movie follows is that when we are shown a giant glass enclosure of a stuffed buffalo where the animal is emersed in his own urine, you kind of knew that later in the film something disgusting will happen with this buffalo. And of course, it did. Is raunchy and foul-mouthed language always funny? No, it isn’t, with the possible exception of the Bad Santa movies. A great comedy movie is well written, subtle, has imagination and never relies on cheap gags to make people laugh. This is why great comedy movies are the rarest of types of films ever made.

For these reasons and so many others, Why Him? should be avoided.

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