Why Him? is ordinarily not the kind of film I would go see in the theaters. Had it not been for two key factors I don’t think I would have gone. First it had the very irresistible and hilarious trailers on its side. That Red-band one was insane. Although I went in hoping that all the funny parts were not included in said trailers. Second, there was the nod to “from the makers of I Love You Man.” I love that comedy flick! So as you can see right from the get go I was walking into Why Him? ahead in the count. Now is the moment of truth and also the chance to have fun with the title’s question mark. What did I think of Why Him? That is the question we are all pondering here, right? Why Him?
Yes I know I scored this higher than any other critic out there, but give me a chance to explain here. It should come as no surprise that Why Him? is a romantic comedy film. It’s also sort of a Christmas movie due to its December 23rd calendar release date. That much is pretty evident from the posters and trailers alone. John Hamburg directs it all from a script he wrote with Ian Helfer. The film stars James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullally, Griffin Gluck and Keegan-Michael Key. The latter had me in stitches from Keanu so sign me up for this trip with no questions asked except this one. What do you do when you find out your only daughter is about to be engaged to a millionaire idiot? Well you ask Why Him? Sorry I couldn’t resist it. LOL.
Ned Fleming (Cranston), his wife Barb (Mullally) and their 15-year old son Scott (Gluck) get the shock of their life when visiting their daughter Stephanie (Deutch) out in sunny San Jose, California. They meet Stephanie’s wealthy and famous boyfriend, Laird Mayhew (Franco). That sounds fine and dandy, but there’s one big problem with Laird. He’s downright despising to Ned because of his lewd, crude and vulgar mouth/actions. There’s no telling what he’s going to do or say next. You gotta adore people like this. His character literally has no filter and I love it. I could see my parents reacting the same way as Ned does, but that money…
There’s also no denying Stephanie is madly in love with Laird, but Ned is dead set against this relationship from even existing. Things only get worse when Laird reveals his plans to Ned. He wants to propose to Stephanie in five days (on Christmas Day). It now becomes a wild race against the clock as Laird seeks to win over Barb and Scott while Ned schemes to extinguish the young couples’ flames once and for all. Without ever seeing this and just taking my words as gospel it kind of reminds me of the relationship between Stiller and DeNiro in Meet The Parents, does it not?
So all kidding aside here’s the deal. Why Him? is a non-stop laugh riot. I have not laughed that hard at a comedy theatrically since probably The Hangover. That’s a long time. Now don’t get me wrong Why Him? is no Hangover, but it was hysterical enough to the point where you actually miss lines of dialogue because everyone in the theater is laughing so uncontrollably over what they just saw. That’s when you know you have comedic gold on your hands. You can just instantly tell they must of had a blast filming this one and here’s why.
First off the performances of Why Him? are what make this comedy so special. Its the non verbal facial expressions that Cranston makes that leaves you in stitches. Sometimes he doesn’t even need to speak a word as his face says it all playing against Franco and other actions (wait until you see the toilet scene). Second, and I mentioned this up above already, Franco’s character knows no limits and/or boundaries. His lack of filter are what make this comedy the romp wild success it is. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth and sometimes when he’s actually trying to filter himself his words are even funnier. Last but not least, its the special cameos and throwbacks in this one that got to me in a very good way. I’m not going to spoil any of them, but the one set of cameos holds a special place in my heart and as soon as I saw them onscreen I knew this one would be getting very high regards from me. Oh yeah, there’s also the heart warming story underneath it all too.
So I guess you can say Why Him? has a little Rated-R fun for everyone out there from a decent story with off-the-wall performances and hilarious antics to throwbacks and special surprises that will rekindle you with your inner self and youth (depending upon how old you are). Sadly I’m closer to the age of Cranston’s character in this one than I am with Franco, so I can definitely relate (and I don’t even have human kids). It’s movie magic at its finest! The best thing about this one, which I feared going in, is that there are still a lot of surprises and fun to be had with Why Him? outside of its trailers. Most comedies give a lot of the funny moments away in the trailers to pack those seats. Why Him? is no exception to that rule. Thankfully, there was a lot more to work with here in addition to all the trailer moments. So for all the reasons listed above and the F-U-N factor to be had with Why Him? I whole heartedly recommend this one.
The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Why Him? with some comparisons to the 1080p Blu-ray version.
- Encoding: HEVC / H.265
- Resolution: 4K (2160p)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Clarity/Detail: There’s really nothing to complain about here as this 4K Ultra HD presentation and its Blu-ray counterpart look exceptionally well and natural throughout. Detail is rendered nicely via the Arri Alexa cameras from everything fabric-wise in clothes, stubble, stray hairs and wrinkles to leather grain in office chairs and concrete pores on the cold Michigan sidewalks outside. There are a few soft shots here and there to write home about, but nothing to severely ding this one over.
- Depth: Depth of field is also clearly on display for all to see as in both the 1080p and 4K presentation the onscreen characters pop in three dimensions against their rich, detailed background environments. All one has to do is gasp in the vastness of Laird’s pad to appreciate the depth of field here.
- Black Levels: The black levels are deep and inky throughout and the night time scenes are nicely infused with HDR ensuring nothing gets lost in the shadows.
- Color Reproduction: Here’s where things excel here as the coloring is beautiful throughout. Things are a tad brighter with the 1080p Blu-ray presentation, but for the most part everything looks natural with rich and genuine coloring throughout.
- Flesh Tones: The temperatures of the skin tones are warm here and there, but for the most part pretty natural and heathy looking.
- Noise/Artifacts: There’s absolutely to complain about here. I did not notice any anomalies, compression or nasty artifacts at all in the presentation.
Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Why Him? Both the 4K UHD disc and the regular 1080p Blu-ray come armed with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track.
- Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Dynamics: The dynamics of the presentation here are wide open at times and constricted at other moments due to the nature of the comedy movie itself. There are zany party moments and various action sequences that pop up here and there, but for the most part this is your basic comedy track. So you should know what to and what not to expect from something like this one.
- Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel seldom comes to life when onscreen effect moments happen (gushing water, party scenes, KISS songs, chain saw, etc.) or cued from the party soundtrack sources.
- Surround Sound Presentation: Like the LFE the rear channels also seldom make themselves known, but there are some rather nice examples too like animals and outside ambience in Laird’s yard, birds chirping, the soundtrack, tidal wave of moose urine sweeping the interior set up, a helicopter swirling in the Michigan streets and more.
- Dialogue Reproduction: For the most part dialogue is clear, intelligible and prioritized throughout. I have zero qualms here. It’s a comedy and the most important part is to hear the dialogue in order to ensure laughter. Thankfully that’s never a problem here.
I really wish Why Him? could have arrived on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD with a hilarious new Unrated version, but sadly that’s not the case. Thankfully the movie is funny enough so there’s that. Therefore, this 4K Ultra HD set includes the original version of the film along with the below additional bonus materials housed on the 1080p Blu-ray disc, which also delivers the film in its HD presentation too. Last but not least you also get a redeemable code for the Digital HD file of the film. Now let’s unwrap these Christmas presents and examine in more detail everything you’ll find here under the 4K Blu-ray tree this week.
- Why Him? Gag Reel (HD, 9:58) – Where else can you see Cranston do a Clint Eastwood impression at? It’s apparent these guys all had a blast filming this, especially Bryan. As a result this extra long gag see is actually worth watching in my option. I loved how Cranston could not keep a straight face in the toilet scene. Speaking of which…
- 47 Minutes on the Can (HD, 6:39) – This one is all about that hilarious scene with Bryan Cranston on the smart toilet. Supposedly it’s a 45-minute take until the memory card in the camera wore out. LOL. I guess Keegan was never supposed to come into that scene. However, I’m so glad he did as he made this so hysterical.
- Why Gustav? (HD, 4:23) – This one is basically a montage of Gustav (Keegan Michael-Key) moments.
- Barb Fleming: America’s Mom (HD, 5:44) – Next up we have a montage of scenes with Megan Mullaly’s character.
- Lou The Entertainer (HD, 4:27) – We now have an extra that features all the scenes and outtakes involving Cedric the Entertainer. Yay! Paul and Gene talk about how old they are in this one. Ha ha.
- Richard Blais: Twisted Chef (HD, 1:46) – Next up we have the scenes and the various outtakes with Richard Blais.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 31:19) – There’s a Play All option here or the following scenes can be selected individually: The Lost KISS Scene, Explaining the Naked Stranger, Pink Panther Extended, Secret Santa, Laird’s Holiday Party Toast, The Drone, Family Meeting Extended, Leaving Laird’s and Laird & Gustav by the Buffet. I was instantly drawn to the KISS scene, but I’m glad it was cut as it was way too long.
- Audio Commentary – This lone audio commentary track features the likes of John Hamburg (Director/Co-Writer), Ian Helfer (Co-Writer) and William Kerr (Editor). It should be noted that this is the only extra that can be accessed on both the 1080p Blu-ray disc and the 4K UHD one.
- Gallery (HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:33)
Before we move on I wanted to show off the 4K Ultra HD disc and the hilarious artwork on it.
So is the question of Why Him? finally answered on March 28th this week on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and DVD? I believe so. The comedy effectively delivers the non stop laughs in my opinion and in my stressful life that’s really all that matters to me. The dynamics of the hilarious, yin-yang relationship between Cranston and Franco is reminiscent of DeNiro and Stiller in the classic Meet The Parents and that’s all you can ever ask for with that comparison. If nothing else, KISS Army rejoice. Paul and Gene grace us with their presence and it’s both powerful (as can be given their age) and hysterical (because of their age a bit) at the same time. This one puts a smile on my face and for that I love it so. Your mileage may vary of course. Enjoy and Merry Belated Christmas!
DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here. Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.
Spread The Holiday Cheer With
The Flemings in Why Him?
on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray