Why Him? 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Utilizing a story from Jonah Hill, WHY HIM is a riff on the familiar MEET THE PARENTS setup, where parents and fiancee collide in a series of awkward and humorous encounters. It’s updated to fit the current time period and the fiancee in question is a a riff on every obnoxious tech-savvy teenager you’ve encountered in the last 15 years. The story is something we’ve seen before, but thankfully, the talented cast carries the film and deliver an enjoyable, if not original, comedy.
Stephanie (Deutch) is the perfect college age daughter; she’s smart, pretty and sensible. And that’s why her parents Ned and Barb Fleming (Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally) are shocked when they meet her long term boyfriend Laird (Franco). Laird is a millionaire that struck it big with a video game business in Silicon Valley and instantly clashes with the Flemings. He tries too hard, uses foul language and has an aversion to shirts, which just adds to the already uncomfortable situation. But Laird is determined to win the approval of the Flemings since he intends to propose to Stephanie in a few days. Of course, Ned is not too keen to the idea.
Laird, Ned and Stephanie are all exaggerated, cookie-cutter characters that don’t distinguish themselves from what we’ve seen before. Cranston plays the angry dad perfectly, Deutch handles the innocent college girl and Franco nails the spoiled tech millionaire. Although efficient, none of these characters offers a lot of laughs. Instead, most of the laughs come from a couple of the supporting characters. Mullally is great as the mother caught between the father and daughter while Keegan-Michael Key goes way over the top as the life coach Gustav. But one of the biggest, mostly untapped, sources of humor was from the virtual assistant Justine (voiced by Kaley Cuoco). Justine is kind of like a “hip” Jarvis, and she gave a few laughs, but I thought they could have done a lot more with her throughout the film. Other than that, the laughs in the film come from the various situations the characters find themselves in.
But maybe the nicest thing to say about WHY HIM is that it’s consistently funny. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it offers enough chuckles and laughs to keep everything going and for a comedy like this, that’s quite the compliment. The film gets its R rating from the extreme foul language, but it was somewhat justified since that was part of who Laird was. However, the filmmakers could have ran with that R rating a bit more and pushed the envelope further. My guess is that the foul language will turn off some viewers and the tameness of the rest of the film will fail to attract others. The ending did drag on a bit too long, but overall WHY HIM was a surprisingly humorous comedy, even if it did feel a little familiar at times.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is a pretty great transfer all around. WHY HIM is a very bright, lively film and the added detail from the 4K really shine through in every scene. The HDR adds a nice touch in the indoor scenes, but the added detail almost give this simple comedy a 3D like feel. I found myself staring at the clothing and hair of every actor, amazed by how much detail was evident. This probably isn’t a film you’d think about in terms of great visual elements, but it’s a nice example of how the new format can add life to just about every type of movie.
Audio: The 4K includes the same DTS track from the Blu-ray.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with John Hamberg, Ian Helfer and William Kerr: These guys give a good commentary and seem to have fun reviewing the film. They cover just about everything you’d want to know about WHY HIM.
Deleted Scenes (31:19):
Gag Reel (10:00): I groaned at a ten minute gag reel, but this wasn’t bad. I found myself laughing more than I thought I would.
Featurettes (22:59): There are five separate featurettes that I’m lumping together because they’re too short on their own. Four supporting characters get a closer look as does the bathroom scene.
Gallery and Trailer