Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
“Why Him?” Is a 2016 comedy starring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as a midwestern dad who journeys with his family to California to meet his daughter’s boyfriend, an obnoxious tech billionaire played by James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”). It also stars Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) as mom and Zoey Deutch (“Set It Up”) as the daughter. We first meet Cranston’s character celebrating his 55th birthday at Applebee’s in Grand Rapids.
Unlike “30 Minutes or Less,” which brought its entire cast and crew to Grand Rapids for months of shooting, “Why Him?” sent a second unit to get mostly exterior shots that did not involve the film’s stars. The Applebee’s exteriors were shot at the Applebees on 28th Street. The crew also shot footage at Founders Brewing Co. on Grandville Avenue SW. and on the Grand Valley State University Pew campus downtown.
At least one local reviewer found the Grand Rapids references in the film "inauthentic" and suggested Cranston's character is based on a stereotype of a midwesterner. If you want to decide for yourself, check out the film, and it can't hurt to check out the Applebee's as well.
Cover image: Poster for “Why Him?”, 2016, 20th Century Fox.