Review – Why Him? (2016)

why-him-57c0d325118bc

why-him-577e004e4119dOne of the major curses affecting the film industry is movies that get released on or near Christmas Day. I don’t know what it is, nor why people continue to attempt to make another movie release at this time of year, but they are cursed. Most of these movies are doomed from the get-go. Sure, a few of them can be fine, but most just keep sitting in the muck. Now, Why Him? interested me quite a bit. It had a couple actors that I mostly love, and a storyline that…while not unique, I am usually found enjoying. So could this movie actually beat the curse? Let’s get into it.

Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The rivalry develops,and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question. Written by 20th Century Fox (IMDb)

PEOPLE
★★★

This category is all about the people in the film. This covers their acting ability, if the characters themselves are any good, if they work well together as a team, if they are deeper or flatter as characters, and if the casting director even did their job right. These are all very important issues to consider while reviewing film.
  1.  Acting: ☆☆
    • I’m not even sure if they were trying to act or just sort of be silly. At the same time, it is a comedy, so acting isn’t always a necessity. They could have at least tried a little though. Zero stars.
  2.  Characters: ★☆
    • I will say this, the characters played by Bryan Cranston and James Franco are perhaps the best out of the bunch as far as memorable characters go. It’s not by much, but it’s sort of there. The rest of the characters are particularly flat. One star.
  3. Good Casting: ☆☆
    • Here’s the deal. I think James Franco was probably the best choice because the role seemed to be written just for him. That just doesn’t make sense, because in general, it’s his character that sort of ruined the movie. I can’t grant this any stars. Zero stars.
  4.  Good Importance: ★☆
    • They almost actually had this in the bag. They all seemingly had individual reasons for being there…except for the women. The women were sort of just…there. Even the girlfriend which this movie sort of revolves around. You had the dad, the boyfriend, the boy, the hacker dude – all of which are all important players in the film, and all of them are men. The mom and daughter are really the only women in this movie…and they are totally replaceable. One star.
  5.  Good chemistry: ★★
    • The first two-star rating comes to the chemistry, which was all pretty decent overall. James Franco and the daughter have pretty good chemistry, he and Bryan Cranston work rather well together. The son, the hacker, everyone actually bounced off each other pretty well. So…two stars.

WRITING
★★

This category obviously covers the writing aspect of the critique. First, you want to know a little bit about the script. Specifically, how is the dialogue? Are they saying anything memorable or inspirational…or was it just a bland conversation to keep the story going? How was the story itself? Was it well-balanced or over-convoluted? Was it original? Was it even interesting? Once again, all very important questions
  1.  Dialogue: ☆☆
    • It’s almost a one-star dialogue rating, but when it specifically comes to James Franco being James Franco, swearing like a sailor. I get it, I do. He’s a ridiculous character that just blabs his mouth…just like James Franco. However, I think it diluted what could have been typical dialogue. Zero stars.
  2.  Good Balance: ★☆
    • Alright, so here we have a movie that should be balanced just fine. It’s a movie that’s only categorized as a comedy – which typically means it’s basic and easy to follow. It’s easy to follow if you just watch the beginning and end, but if you watch the rest of it, it feels too long, there are too many random sequences in there that never needed to exist to begin with. I don’t know, It’s almost as if someone ran out of ideas somewhere and started making stuff up. One star.
  3.  Good Story: ☆☆
    • So, what’s the story here? Well, it’s…it’s…about…I don’t know. A dad hating his daughter’s boyfriend, I guess? Zero stars.
  4.  Originality: ☆☆
    • This is just a bad version of Meet the Parents and Guess Who. Need I say any more? Zero stars.
  5.  Interesting: ★☆
    • Slightly interesting, yes. It has Bryan Cranston and James Franco – two actors that I’ve had a history of enjoying their work. That was interesting, I guess. That was about it, though. One star.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES
★★★★

Never forget that there are hard-working individuals working on this film day in and day out. It’s a great story, yes, but people helped make that possible. People like the directors, who have to take written word on a script, and somehow translate that for the big screen in a way an audience would understand. Editors, who are given a ton of material and expected to further make that idea and image the director has already – into a reality, like the director of photography, whose job is to make this movie look amazing…whether that means natural settings and landscapes, CGI, 3D, technical effects, or otherwise. The production crew, who are in charge of making advertisements that aren’t false, and don’t give too much away. Finally, the sound crew, who are in charge of everything the audio has – sound effects, sound editing, music, you name it. These are all puzzle pieces.
  1. Visuals: ★☆
    • Typical visuals, nothing more. One star.
  2.  Directing: ★☆
    • Typical directing as well. One star.
  3.  Editing: ★☆
    • Typical editing. One star
  4.  Advertisement: ★★
    • As advertised, so two stars.
  5.  Music: ★☆
    • Even with Kiss, the music was also neither great nor terrible. One star.

NARRATIVE ARC
★★★★★★★★★

Have you ever been left wondering what it was about a film that felt…off, but you couldn’t place what it was? Well, a lot of people actually aren’t educated on the traditional narrative arc structure – which is seen in almost every movie or book story. With a missing piece, you might not understand what feels missing.
  1.  Introduction: ★★
    • Comedies usually follow a solid narrative structure, and thankfully, this does too. The introduction basically just introduces us to everone…simple does it.
  2.  Inciting Incident/Crossing the Threshold: ★★
    • This happens when the parents have a bad first impression of the boyfriend, and ultimately when they go on a trip to visit and meet him.
  3.  Obstacles: ★★
    • You have a dad that hates his daughter’s boyfriend, who you soon learn that he wants to propose, and then all this “hilarity” ensues, which really just amounts to what this film deems as obstacles. Two stars here.
  4.  Epiphany/Climax: ★☆
    • Anticlimactic and predictable. One star.
  5.  Falling Action: ★★
    • The falling action was fine, though. Two stars.

OVERALL ENTERTAINMENT
★★

Here’s something most critics overlook because they’re always so keyed in on critiquing the technical elements of a film. Well, that may be statistically accurate, but the numbers that are released aren’t always reflective of what we enjoyed about it…which is when we say the movie was under-appreciated or whatever. This category focuses on pure entertainment.
  1.  Rewatchability: ☆
    • I’d rather not. Zero stars.
  2.  Fun: ★☆
    • I will give it to them for this. It’s fun in certain areas, but not in all. One star.
  3.  Impulse to buy it: ☆
    • Nope.
  4.  Impulse to talk to someone about it: ☆☆
    • Not really, other than to tell you to avoid it.
  5.  Sucks the audience in:
    • It pushes you away, is more like it.

vfnzrlzMxM6cmSBWGOJBOLaGXJR

SPECIALTY QUESTIONS

These are special questions written by you before seeing the movie, based on expectations, questions, stereotypes, you name it. If it’s a Tom Cruise movie, have Cruise-isms, if it’s a horror film, ask how scary it is, if it’s a sequel, ask if it fits in with the universe or if it was even needed to begin with, you catch the drift.

Comedy
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #1

The first thing you’d expect after seeing some advertisements for this is that this is a comedy – so is it funny. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did indeed chuckle in some areas. Most of them had to do with Bryan Cranston’s roles, mind you, because James Franco really ruined the rest of it for me. For this category, I’ll give it five stars, because had they just done something different altogether, this wouldn’t have been too terribly bad.

Romance
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #2

The next thing you’ll notice is that this revolves around romance. So, how is the actual romantic chemistry? It’s okay, I guess. The chemistry in general is good but I guess I’m missing where that spark comes from. So I’ll give this one five stars.

Meet the Parents
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #3

Next up, you’d probably noticed from the trailers that this looks a bit like Meet the Parents or even Guess Who. That’s exactly what this movie is, but maybe in reverse. Instead of taking your boyfriend to see your parents, this is bringing the parents to the boyfriend, which seemed like a really bad idea when you really think about it. Less of a risk if you bring him to them, but whatever. Same basic idea, so I’ll give this ten stars.

Christmas
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #4

This was more of a blind expectation based on the release date. I didn’t think it’d really have any Christmas themed things, but it is a bit of a Christmas movie, yeah. Now, that being said, it’s only a bit of a Christmas movie, almost as if the holiday was simply a gimmick because it was released around Christmas. The movie isn’t really about that, so I’ll give this five stars.

HALFWAY DECENT
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #5

Last but not least, is it halfway decent? Meaning, can I personally think of a better way to make it? I’m pretty sure I can make pretty much everything better, but in doing so, it would no longer be the movie Why Him?. So, I’ll give this five stars because if I did it, it’d be totally different, which isn’t good either. So there you have it.

RATING: 52/100

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Review – Why Him? (2016)

  1. Hey man I’m digging the new format of your reviews, pretty cool. And yeah I’m with you on this. What a total dud. These characters were mostly obnoxious and the film unfunny. Boo!!!!!!

    • Hey dude, thanks I appreciate the support. Had to change my tagline from “Sticking Up for Bullied Movies” to “Interpreting the Stars”. Wanted to make something everyone can at least understand where I’m coming from,even if they disagree.

      I wanted to like this one,but it was pretty much cursed from the get go

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s