James Franco’s uninhibited Silicon Valley billionaire takes on girlfriend Zoey Deutch’s zealously over-protective dad (Bryan Cranston) in this farcical generation-gap comedy.
Directed by John Hamburg, co-writer of Meet the Parents and its sequels, this is very much in the vein of those comedies – but here it’s Franco who has the upper hand when Cranston’s crusty Midwestern patriarch and his wife (Megan Mullally) pay a Christmas holiday visit to his lavish California mansion.
Cranston, horrified at the prospect of Franco marrying Deutch, lands in one embarrassing situation after another as he strives to thwart the match. But, confronted with the uncurbed Franco’s foul tongue, brazen tattoos and hi-tech modernist house, fuddy-duddy Cranston is hopelessly at a loss.
The more Franco swears or flashes his tats, the less funny things become, but his and Cranston’s cranky relationship is good value and Keegan-Michael Key, as his wacky assistant, provides plenty of chuckles with his Pink-Panther-style, martial-arts ambushes of his boss.