Stephanie Fleming is attending college at Stanford University in California. Her parents in Michigan are very proud that this prestigious college accepted her. Her father Ned and mother Barb plus her younger brother Scotty plan to spend Christmas with her in California. When they arrive, they learn they will not be staying at a hotel as they planned but Stephanie’s boyfriend has invited them to stay with him. They have only heard about him recently and they don’t know anything about him? It turns out that Laird is a Silicon Valley millionaire with a big estate. He’s involved in the development of video games and his employees also work and live at his estate. Ned feels they have made a big mistake and shouldn’t be staying with Laird. He also thinks Stephanie has made a big mistake in her choice of a boyfriend. The only family member that is happy is Scotty.
Laird doesn’t have manners or social skills plus every other word he says is a swear word. There are a lot of funny moments in this film but also a lot of awkward moments!! I could see why Ned thinks his daughter has made a big mistake to be serious about Laird. Ned wants her to concentrate on college and not a jerk boyfriend!! Scotty fits right in because Laird seems to be a contemporary. 3* (This movie is OK)
111 min, Comedy directed by John Hamburg with Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Tangie Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer, Bob Stephenson, Bryan Cranston, Megan Mullally, Zack Pearlman, Griffin Gluck, Jee Young Han, Mary Pat Gleason, Juliette B. Reiss.
Note: Imdb 6.3 out of 10, 40% critic 52% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 3.6* out of 5* with 631 reviews, Metacritic 39 out of 100 with 30 critics 5.6 out of 10 with 91 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Los Angeles, California. The cast was given free access to improvise and 240 hours were filmed. The hours had to be trimmed to 90 minutes for the film. The app developed by Laird is Ape Assassins and is available at the iPhone App Store. James Franco painted many of the paintings in Laird’s house and he designed the tattoos for Laird. Director John Hamburg was James Franco’s professor at New York University. Originally Ben Stiller was set to play Ned and Jonah Hill as Laird. James Franco is 17 years older than Zoey Deutch, his girlfriend in this film. Elon Musk from Tesla Inc. has a cameo role.