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Why Him? review: Goofy laughs here strictly lowbrow

By Damon Smith

Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) runs his family's printing business, but times are tough and the company's balance sheet is in the red. Co-worker Lou Dunne (Cedric The Entertainer) is convinced Ned can engineer a miracle and conjure a high-value contract out of the ether.

In the midst of this crisis, Ned, his wife Barb (Megan Mullally) and their 15-year-old son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) fly to San Remo to spend the holidays with their beloved daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch). She intends to introduce them to her new beau, millionaire app developer Laird Mayhew (James Franco).

The Flemings are impressed by his modernist home replete with a priceless sculpture of a dead moose suspended in its own urine.

However, the host's manic behaviour, which is repeatedly reined in by caring estate manager Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key), sets alarm bells ringing.

Why Him? once again casts Franco as a gurning goofball. He flashes almost every inch of his body in pained service of laughter, while Cranston forlornly attempts to inject gravitas to his scenes.

Three stars

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