Maybe it’s just me, but 2016 has been an exceptionally weak year for comedies at the multiplex. Sure, we’ve gotten ourselves some Nice Guys, a Swiss Army Man or two and even a little Love & Friendship along the way, but otherwise, it’s been pretty dour. Keanu, Popstar, Mr. Right, Special Correspondents, Zoolander 2, Search Party, Get a Job and Central Intelligence have all ended up disappointments, and let’s not even discuss The Do-Over, Fifty Shades of Black or Mother’s Day. One can only hope, then, that the next six months end up more promising in the yuck department. And if the first trailers for Fox’s Why Him? are any indication, that might just be the case.
Why Him? is the new R-rated comedy from writer/director John Hamburg, the filmmaker behind I Love You, Man, and it’s DNA is found all throughout this thing. It’s centered around Ned (Bryan Cranston), a straight-laced suburban dad who wants nothing more than for his only daughter (Zoey Deutch) to be happy. And, as it turns out, she is pretty happy, but not quite in the way Ned hoped. Upon visiting her in Stanford, he discovers she’s in a pretty serious relationship with Laird, an obnoxious, foul-mouthed Silicon Valley internet billionaire dead-set on taking Ned’s sweet daughter’s hand in marriage.
From there, you can pretty much figure out where it’s going to go.
Even though Cranston and Franco are respected, Oscar-nominated actors in their own right, it’s always nice to see them cut loose a little bit. Although, of course, both actors have proven themselves comedically as much as they have dramatically, so maybe it’s not quite as shocking as, say, seeing Daniel Day-Lewis letting his freak flag fly. But the liberal, game-for-anything mindset is appreciated nevertheless. The set-up is a little formulaic, but the trailers — one red-band, one green-band — suggest they’re both giving it their all, even if not every joke lands. We’ll have to wait until Christmas, when it comes out, to see if it’s worthy successor’s to Hamburg’s last film. But it has to be better than Hamburg’s Along Came Polly, right?
Here’s the red-band trailer, along with the green-band one and the poster.