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Why Him?

Here's a new one for me. I'm writing from the airport. In theory, by the time this posts, I will have been back in LA for a few days (knock wood), but right now I'm sitting in IAH, using the wifi to play Candy Crush. Not sure that's what God envisioned when he created the world, but hey, it's how I'm getting by right now.

It seems that every year there's an irreverent comedy released during Christmas week. Some counter programming to all of the holiday cheer and sap. This year's selection was Why Him? which really prompted more of a Why That? question. Young independent college age woman brings her family to her new home to meet her boyfriend, who on the surface seems crude and unfiltered and very much not the ideal her parents would have imagined for her. Awkward hilarity ensues, or at least attempts to. The trailer didn't strike me as too funny, but for some reason I still really wanted to see it. Oh that might have been because the cast included Bryan "the-one-who-knocks" Cranston, Megan Mullally, and James Franco. Yeah that trio (or even two of the trio) is reason enough to see just about anything.

My instinctive response was correct in that I really didn't find it all that funny. I mean, moments here and there, sure, but not the laugh fest I'd been hopeful but not optimistic about. The humor relied more on shock value. Franco would do something weird that would freak out Cranston and cue the laugh track (no, there was no laugh track in the movie). It works for some people, but not me, so much. Still, I love seeing Cranston have fun and go back to his comedy side (I never did see Malcom in the Middle). And I've also been on a bit of a James Franco kick in the past couple weeks, which prolly was set off by his appearance on Colbert. That and the fact that my Black Friday DVD's that I was watching in Texas included his 11.22.63 miniseries.

What was surprising is that the film was more heartfelt than I expected. It wasn't just about the uncomfortable humor, but the father/daughter relationship took center stage. From that side is was remarkably sweet, and very watchable thanks to the cast. Maybe not a destined holiday classic, but a worthy escape during that crazy season.
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