Film Review: World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

Release Date: August 21st, 2009
Directed by: Bobcat Goldthwait
Written by: Bobcat Goldthwait
Music by: Gerald Brunskill
Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Evan Martin, Lorraine Nicholson, Henry Simmons, Geoff Pierson, Bobcat Goldthwait

Darko Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, 99 Minutes

Review:

*Written in 2014.

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” – Lance Clayton

A few days ago, Robin Williams committed suicide. While I usually don’t care about celebrities enough to partake in the overabundance of public mourning for such figures, this time it is hard not to.

Mr. Williams wasn’t just some mediocre but sexy rock singer or some leading hunk with questionable talent, he was one of the best comedians of all-time and one of the greatest dramatic actors of the last few decades. Additionally, he always seemed like a very nice and pleasant guy. He was also incredibly charitable and a more than model citizen in an industry where too many people are total shitheads.

With his passing, I felt the urge to watch some of his films. The one that immediately came to mind, which hits very close to home with the recent news of his suicide, is the Bobcat Goldthwait directed World’s Greatest Dad.

The story follows a high school poetry teacher and aspiring writer who has a total douchebag for a son. His son dies while masturbating. Williams’ character decides to make it look like a suicide and writes a suicide note. The note somehow gets published and suddenly everyone is taken aback by the eloquent words of a dead kid who they all hated. The ruse continues, the dad writes a journal pretending to be his son and ends up on national television to talk about his douchebag kid that everyone now thinks was a troubled prodigy. The story progresses, the hole he digs gets deeper and you know that in some way, shit will have to hit the fan.

This is actually my favorite film directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. It is his best work bar none and I think a lot of that is due to the brilliance of Robin Williams in this part. Not to take anything away from Goldthwait, he has an amazing talent for writing and directing, although Williams brought a level of humanity to this role that most other actors wouldn’t have pulled off as well.

The subject matter of this film and the tragic real life events that just happened, really make this hit home. However, as dark as the premise may appear, this isn’t an unhappy movie. In fact, even with death being the catalyst of the film’s plot, it is very much a film about life and about a man finding himself and what he’s looking for. The message at the end of the film that is given by Robin Williams makes it all too clear.

This is definitely a film that should be considered as one of Robin Williams’ best.

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