Original Post Date: 9/20/2009
Amazon On-Demand (5.99)
Starring: Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara
Writer/Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

Robin Williams gives the best performance of his career in a film that is shocking, funny, and endearing all in one.

The Plot:

Source = IMDB.com (written by Andrew McGraime)

Robin Williams stars as Lance Clayton, a man who has learned to settle.  He dreamed of being a rich and famous writer, but has only managed to make it as a high school poetry teacher.  His only son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) is an insufferable jackass who won't give his father the time of day.  He is dating Claire (Alexie Gilmore), the school's adorable art teacher, but she doesn't want to get serious -- or even acknowledge publicly that they are dating.   Then, in the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of, if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got there.

The Review

Living in an area of Massachusetts with no access to independent cinema, I usually miss out on these indie releases. Thankfully, the wonderful folks at Amazon.com have an on-demand service, and World' Greatest Dad, the 2009 film written and directed by the crazy bastard Bobcat Goldthwait, is one of the films for rent. At 6.99, it was like buying a ticket to a theater, and unlike the theater, I didn't have to run the risk of seeing it with talkative or annoying patrons.

That's enough about that, let's get to the review. World's Greatest Dad is vulgar, it's dark, it's funny, and it's depressing all at once, but to a wonderful degree. To me, this is a film that should be nominated for Best Picture. The whole film is excellently made, excellently acted, and is so captivating that I could not take my eyes off the computer screen.

Robin Williams, with any justice, will be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Lance Clayton, a poetry teacher who wishes to be rich, published, and most of all, to be appreciated. Williams is absolutely excellent: he's hilarious and at the same time, you want to hate him for just how much of a bastard he becomes through out the course of the film. You spend the movie either laughing at him, feeling sorry for him, and really just wondering what kind of bastard would exploit his son's death just to finally achieve his dream of being published.

His son Kyle, played excellently by Daryl Sabara, is completely unlikeable, but in a good way. He's a perverted teenager who is so insufferable, when he accidentally kills himself while masturbating, you don't feel sorry for the loss. That's what is scary: a teenager dies, and you don't feel anything about it other than perhaps a dark sense of relief. That is a testament to the acting of Sabara, as he knocks it out of the park in a wonderfully asshole way.

The school's reaction to the death is also mesmerizing and absolutely true. Even though no one liked Kyle, when he dies, people talk about how "great" and "nice" he was, when that was not true. As said in other reviews, it's ballsy to call out humanity's reaction to death, but I found it so refreshing that the film would tackle it head on and not sugarcoat it. We, as a people, will canonize anyone after death, no matter how much we did not like them (with the exception of maybe Hitler).

Bobcat Goldthwait has written and directed a brilliant dark film about death and greed and deserves all the of the accolades he has received so far and will in the future. If you can, drop the 6.99 to see this film on Amazon.com or go out to the theater. You will only not regret it, but you'll feel good by watching a movie so well-done in an era where giant robots fighting each other passes for entertainment in the movie business.

To rent this on Amazon.com, click HERE


12/10/2009 07:27:43 am

Based on your favorable review, I put this film in my Queue in November and eagerly awaited the December DVD release

Yesterday, I watched World's Greatest Dad. Watching Robin Williams professionally play the role of Lance Clayton, I came to the conclusion that I prefer a coked out, loud, and painfully random Robin Williams character instead (I also still find Tom Green funny, proving that my opinon does not matter).

Regardless, the film was well written and there were solid acting performances all around. Pretty good stuff, but far from a five-spot in my book (now, if Mrs. Doubtfire had a cameo, then we could talk a near perfect rating).


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