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|Index||132 reviews in total|
Just watched this at the Sundance Film Festival. Absolutely great film. Dark, smart comedy in the spirit of Rushmore. The Bobcat is BACK! Very good cast; great soundtrack. He uses very real issues to simply tell a story about the relationship between an ungrateful punk kid and a painfully weak father. In the Q&A after the film, Bobcat pointed out that most of the comedies being made these days are basically R-rated films made for 13-year-olds (mindless, raunchy, etc.). World's Greatest Dad is a comedy for adults: insightful, original, uncomfortable at times...hilarious. Robin Williams manages to be miserable, mean, touching, and funny without any conflict at all, an inspired break from his traditional roles.
This is one of the best films I have seen in awhile. I have heard
complaints that the acting is terrible, the acting wasn't bad at all.
The characters were supposed to be very shallow and that shallowness
was heavily exaggerated. But when the acting needed to be there it came
across at magnum force. I would say that much of the movie has a
cartoony feel, maybe that is because the only other work I would
compare this film to is South Park. They amplify each characters ego
and traits to the point it is cartoonish but it works very well in this
film, as well as South Park. It switches back and forth between comedy
and drama to the point you don't know what you are watching. Maybe many
people didn't appreciate it for this reason. But then there are some
weirdos that don't like South Park either. Go figure.
You could look at this film in a few ways, it makes you question things. At first it appears that the Dad is doing the right thing for his Son, then for his students and then for himself. You keep wondering where or if he will draw the line. It also makes you wonder what people will do for attention even if they must be a muse. It makes me wonder how many times something like this has occurred in the real world and how many times we have read or heard about it.
Robin Williams should be proud of this one, Oscar worthy performance. Daryl Sabara is incredible. He has covered quite a bit in his short career but this one should put him in the special class of young actors. I really liked Lorraine Nicholson's character Heather, she pulled off the Goth chick flawlessly. I also enjoyed the little shout out to Simon Pegg when Lance is talking to his neighbor about zombie movies.
Bottom line, many people will not connect with this film because it is very "artsy" and somewhat taboo. But it is a great film. Way to go Bobcat!
WORLDS GREATEST DAD feels like a well-deserved smack in the face. Tragedy happens every day and our self-centered culture leaps in to turn the event into a grandiose communal affair. Immediate world-wide exposure seems to open the door for each and every one of us to adhere ourselves to tragic misfortunes of others and become a superstar. It's not a pleasant truth, but a truth that was well characterized in this movie. As a parent of teenagers, the abrupt 360 degree attitudinal shift of the kids seemed entirely realistic. Teenagers thrive on group think and group drama and attention. Each kid portrayed reminded me of kids I know - they were fabulous actors. I run into the indulgent & blinded parental approach adopted by Robin Williams all the time, it felt entirely plausible. Loved this movie and it left me thinking about all sorts of themes for days and days. If you are thinking about starting a family - see this movie. If you have a family - see this movie. If you work with kids - see this movie. If you have thoughts of self-promotion in relation to another's misfortune - see this movie. If you prefer to be smacked in the face with a lot of humor to balance the pain - see this movie!
This movie worked very well as a dark comedy. It followed no set boundaries and goes its own way. The results are incredibly dark, sometimes being almost twisted. There are some scenes where the viewer doesn't know whether to laugh or feel sad. Robin Williams delivers his best performance in a while as Lance Clayton, a struggling writer striving for success and hell-bent on not dying alone. I personally found it rather impressive that it was both written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait because I'm personally not too big of a fan of his stand-up and this was a far departure from it. However, the one thing that I saw as holding the movie back was its climax, which I believed took the right route, but could have been more powerful or had a bit more of a sting to it. Overall, this movie, like Observe and Report released earlier in 2009, won't be for everyone, but it works very well in its own way.
I loved the characterisation of this movie: Robin Williams is one of
those actors you have to like. So when, as in this movie, he plays
someone who is sweet and kind and weak and crawling through moral
quicksand, the resulting conflict you feel has you laughing out loud
and wringing your hands with anxiety all at the same time.
The plot is original and comes with a couple of unforgettable twists. The dialogue is sharp, the humour dark. The moral compass is spinning wildly, but it straightens up for us in the end.
There is a quote at the end of the movie that really struck a chord with me.
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, but it's not. The worst thing is ending up with people who make you feel all alone."
World's Greatest Dad hooked me the first time I read about it debuting
at Sundance. I heard, "dark comedy," and, "Robin Williams," and was
instantly interested. Then the trailer and plot summary really reeled
me in. The result is a film that not only surpassed expectations, but
also went in an unexpected direction. When a film is described as a
dark comedy, it has usually still stuck to specific guidelines. Maybe
it still followed a similar formula to what other comedies did before
it. These other films that are labeled as dark comedies don't really
break any new ground. World's Greatest Dad goes beyond that. It breaks
any ground rules that were laid before it and doesn't follow any sort
of formula. When they say, "dark," they aren't kidding. The subject
content is pretty disturbing yet is somehow still humorous.
Robin Williams plays the role of a dad who's trying to do his best with the obstacles life has thrown at him incredibly well. With everything that's going on in his life, even in the moments of the film where he doesn't speak, it looks like he's constantly thinking about something. Always dwelling on what's going on around him with the people who are close to him in his life and trying to decide how he's going to handle this situation he's gotten himself into. While his role does show a bit of his comedic side, Robin Williams proves he can handle serious roles rather well with this performance.
While I obviously can't say much about what direction the film goes in without completely spoiling the film, I will say that the trailer does a good job of not giving any of that away. Once the film makes that turn though, it really follows through with it and doesn't let up. One of the best parts of the experience of watching this film for the first time is seeing how far the concept of the film is going to go. As Lance buries himself in this, people begin to say the actions that were taken changed their life for the better. If you told a lie that did that to not just one person, but practically an entire high school...how would you tell them the truth?
World's Greatest Dad is not going to be for everyone. Some people will love it and others will just downright hate it. The film isn't just dark, it's DARK. That and it's a very different kind of comedy with an unexpected turn of events. Most of the humor is very dry, so if that's not your thing then I wouldn't recommend it. For me personally though, it's one of the most interesting films I've seen in quite some time.
Suburbia has transformed from an innocent place with friendly neighbors
to a world full of miserable, sometimes disturbed people, dreams
deferred, and earth-shattering secrets. From this year's Sundance Film
Festival we have Bobcat Goldthwait's dark comedy World's Greatest Dad,
we delve once again into the unknown of Any Town, USA.
This film mainly takes place in a school setting, but the themes and conflicts that arise coincide with those found in other films about suburbia. Robin Williams stars as struggling writer Lance Clayton. He lives with his son Kyle (Daryl Sabara), a porn obsessed, perverted teenager who attends the private school Lance teaches a not-so-popular poetry elective. There is tough love between the two. It's a typical teenager vs. the parent relationship only the censors have been turned off.
Lance is dating another teacher on staff, Claire (Alexie Gillmore), who he suspects isn't totally committed to their relationship. Life isn't getting any easier for Lance who struggles to reach his students or find a publisher for his work. When things couldn't get any worse, Lance suffers a blow few could recover from. From tragedy comes opportunity and it is up to Lance to decide what is the right thing to do.
It would be wrong of me to give away the tragedy, but it is something that does occur in Any Town, USA. In fact it happened not too long ago just a town over from me. It's the first time I can think of it being used in a film, or at least of this magnitude. There are several times during the film that I felt uncomfortable, but not to the point of disgust. There are some pretty heavy issues handled here and I think it is tasteful.
Williams does a fine job, especially in the second half of the film. For a comedian I can imagine it being difficult to change emotionally like that, but Williams has proved time after time in films like Good Will Hunting, One Hour Photo, and Insomniac that he can play just about any role thrown at him. He has a presence that is very real and powerful.
I was surprised by Sabara's performance as Kyle. I had only seen him in Spy Kids so I really didn't know what to expect. He seemed to have a clear idea of who Kyle was and what is motives are.
Goldthwait, who also wrote the screenplay, tackles a lot of issues both for adults and teenagers. At first I thought the film was going to end up like last years Towelhead, a hodgepodge of issues and conflicts that are each could have been their own film, but here we have an even dosage of each, culminating to a great finale and realization by William's character.
The film isn't perfect. One thing I don't like films to do is talk about other films. I feel like it is only a way for the writer to show off his movie knowledge and personal views about certain movies, although one segment involving zombie movies is relevant to the story. Occasionally it can be beneficial. Some of the scenes were a bit overdone with cheesy, overused dialogue, and some of the deliveries felt like they were just saying their lines and not really connecting with them.
Overall I was impressed. Goldthwait is not a big time filmmaker but this is certainly a step in the right direction (he has acted in several films and worked on other projects behind the camera). Williams gives one of his better performances as of late, but he doesn't steal the show. I thought the story was good enough to stand on its own, which is a very good thing. I hope this film doesn't get completely overlooked this year. You should try to see this one if you can.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I avoided seeing World's Greatest Dad for quite some time due to the title. I mistook it for some Disney kid's movie. When I finally sat down and gave it a chance I found a very dark, disturbing adult drama that had me laughing and crying at the same time. There are some humorous moments but this is by no means a comedy. If you are expecting a bunch of belly laughs you will be disappointed. This is a very sad story about a natural born loser who finds the attention he craves in the sympathy he gets after the death of his sexually perverted son. What makes this even more emotionally charged is that our anti-hero is fabricating the circumstances surrounding his son's death in order to gain sympathy and also to ghost write his illiterate son's brilliant journal to get it published in compensation for his own failed writing career. This character's hookwinking of the superficial people around him might come off as a funny gag if not for the fact that he shows absolutely no regret while bleeding his son's death for all it's worth. And everyone around him does the same, relishing in the invitations to talk shows and the offers from book publishing companies. While everyone celebrates their false love for the person they completely ignored while alive, a very brooding tone develops that makes us wonder about the true nature of humanity. World's Greatest Dad is brilliant and provocative. A big ten!
I saw this movie two weeks ago, because a friend of mine told me that
it's a good dark comedy. I like dark humor, but I really didn't
expected such a strong movie like this. When someone mention "a dark
comedy", I usually think about "Don't be a menace to the South Central
while drinking your juice in the hood".
But, this is something different. Something that, if you are not psychically prepared, will hit you hard enough and make you feel sick. Robin Williams is a hell of an actor. I like his performances, and really appreciate what he has done for Hollywood.
"World's greatest dad" is one of the best movies of the year. It's something that everyone will find a line of his character in this movie. It's about how ironical the life can be, and how people threat others, and what an egoistic creatures we are. I gave him 10/10, because it's one of the most important movies of the year, a movie that you must watch once in your life and face the truth that the worst thing in life is not to end up all alone, but to end up with people who make you feel all alone.
Robin Williams is a man of two halves, the brilliant 'The Fisher King', 'One Hour Photo' and 'Insomnia' to name but a few and the rubbish 'Flubber', 'Patch Adams' etc. His work never seems to have any grey area he is either proving he can act or acting the fool. In his latest role as Lance Clayton in Bobcat Goldthwait's (yep the guy out of Police Academy) 'World's Greatest Dad' he is once again showing us he's still got what it takes as he tackles the role of a father who loses his son to a tragic accident. This though is no straight drama and contains humour that is very dark indeed. Lance is an aspiring writer who can't seem to get published, he is also a teacher who runs a very poorly attended poetry class and the father to Kyle, perhaps the most obnoxious kid to ever grace our screens. After an accident presents an interesting opportunity for Lance he grabs it by both hands and runs with it until it reaches its unnatural conclusion. Well acted and directed this is a film that would sit perfectly with say Junebug, Thumbsucker, Igby Goes Down and Wonder Boys as one of those quirky small town America trag-coms that you find yourself laughing at even when you shouldn't and one that can at times make your skin crawl ever so slightly. Like finding yourself staring at a car crash you won't be able to look away as the pacing draws you through the story with ease and although it deals with matters that are slightly taboo its ultimately an enjoyable watch and one which cements Williams reputation as a comic actor adapt at playing the wounded human soul.
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