In five captivating seasons of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston demonstrated that he was a tremendous dramatic performer. However, many viewers first learned of him in television sitcoms; Cranston was a recurring guest star on Seinfeld and a main character in Malcolm in the Middle. After starring in a handful of serious films, the actor is going to rely on his comedy chops for his latest movie, Why Him? In it, Cranston plays Ned Fleming, a father who is horrified by his daughter Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) free-spirited and vulgar boyfriend Laird Mayhew (James Franco). Laird wants to propose to Stephanie on Christmas, but has to earn Ned’s blessing first.
Fox kicked off the marketing campaign over the summer with a red band trailer that highlighted the odd couple pairing of Cranston and Franco to amusing effect. With the film’s release date fast approaching, the studio has now released another R-rated theatrical preview that fleshes out Ned and Laird’s dynamic even further. You can watch it above.
For the most part, the new trailer follows the same beats as the first one, highlighting Laird’s carefree nature and frequent use of profanity, which rubs Ned the wrong way. However, viewers learn of a new wrinkle. After repeatedly being insulted by his prospective father-in-law, Laird purchases Ned’s company, launching a conflict between the two that’s sure to ruin their holiday season. Why Laird decided to do this when he’s trying to get in the Flemings’ good graces is a question the movie will have to answer, but it does make for an interesting setup as the rivals try to take each other down.
Savvy moviegoers may be able to plot out the course of the main narrative by viewing the promotional materials, but Why Him? still looks like it will be a fun time at the movies. Both Cranston and Franco have experience in this genre, and they seem to be strong fits for their roles as the stuck-up dad and charming playboy, respectively. While the stark contrast between Ned and Laird may be a bit too on-the-nose for some, the abilities of the leads will ideally elevate the material so it strikes a chord with audiences. Director John Hamburg’s I Love You, Man made $71.4 million back in 2009, his style of humor has been well-received before.
Why Him? is one of several new releases coming out in a commonly-crowded December film slate, opening just two days after the trio of Passengers, Assassin’s Creed, and Sing (and right before Gold and Fences). Depending on how things shake out, the film could have an uphill climb at the box office – especially since Office Christmas Party debuts a couple of weeks before. However, Why Him? has the star power to stand out and appeal to comedy fans, which should help it in the long run.
Source: 20th Century Fox