Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - HOH

OUT NOW / CERT 15 / 111 MINS DI­REC­TOR John Ham­burg CAST Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Zoey Deutch, Me­gan Mul­lally

THERE’S A SOLID premise to this hol­i­day com­edy, with an ec­cen­tric tech mil­lion­aire (Franco) go­ing to ex­treme lengths to im­press his girl­friend Stephanie’s (Deutch) fam­ily, of­ten with dis­as­trous re­sults. Sur­pris­ingly, Franco is the stand­out as an ami­ably chaotic guru with a lu­di­crous life­style, a bit of a shock to the sys­tem of Stephanie’s con­ser­va­tive, fi­nan­cially strug­gling dad Ned (Cranston). But no two char­ac­ters seem to be in the same film, and the over­all tone veers from hol­i­day heart­warmer to raunchy rom-com to in­die-tinged fam­ily dram­edy with no con­cern for con­sis­tency at all. It has some laughs, but it feels like there’s prob­a­bly a bet­ter film left some­where in the edit room.

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