Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 99 minutes
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I have some shocking news to announce: Bobcat Goldthwait has written and directed a really, really good movie. Need a second to gather yourself? Go ahead, take a few.
In “World’s Greatest Dad” an unpublished writer (Williams) experiences a tragedy and is then presented with opportunities he’s never had before: fame, success, and most importantly, an audience. Having the chance to get everything he’s ever wanted seems like a pretty easy decision. The film explores the ramifications of wishes come true and urges a reevaluation of what’s valued as important. And did I mention, it’s really, really good.
Williams plays Lance Clayton, divorced father of one giant douche bag (Sabara). Seriously, this kid makes you want to punch him in the face until you reach the wall behind him. On top of having the Worst Son Ever, Lance is pushed to keep his relationship with a co-worker (Gilmore) under wraps and fears that his age, looks, and lackluster writing career are all nails in his romantic coffin. But Williams’ character isn’t depressed. Actually, he’s surprisingly upbeat all things considered. In fact, the film itself is surprisingly upbeat. The important thing to remember about “World’s Greatest Dad” is that it’s a comedy.
A very funny comedy. It’s a very funny comedy that almost made me cry. Luckily, there were two tough looking guys sitting on either side of me and if they weren’t crying—I wasn’t crying. But I almost cried. Every time the film looks like it might lose its pace, its humor (as dark as it may be), or its grasp on you, it doesn’t. It takes a turn you’re not expecting and the next thing you know, you’re impressed again. All of the actors really fit their roles well, and with the exception of a few lines here or there, the performances all work. Williams’ performance combines subtlety with charisma and creates a character as layered and complex as any other he’s ever played…except for maybe The Genie.
All in all, the film is an intricate construction that breaks the boundaries and limits set in place by too many R-rated comedies with teenage target audiences. As Goldthwait has said, “This is a comedy for adults.” If the darkness of the humor in “World’s Greatest Dad” doesn’t convince you maybe the visibility of Robin Williams’ penis will. Unless that was a body double. Well, either way, leave the kids at home.
Posted on January 24, 2009 in Reviews by Scott Knopf
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