are a lot of things that come to mind after viewing the
new film World’s Greatest Dad.
thing to know, it’s the new dark comedy from director
Bobcat Goldthwait starring Robin Williams, pushing the boundary
of all that is right in conventional films. But Dad
isn’t a conventional film, and frankly it’s
one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. It’s
funny, raunchy, poignant, stylistic and thought provoking
and it’s the film that transcends Bobcat Goldthwait
from the once ignored comic from the Police Academy
films to one of the smartest directors to watch in years
to come. But probably the strongest thing that comes to
mind after viewing this movie is simply one word: Wow.
Greatest Dad is the story of high school poetry teacher
and struggling author Lance Clayton. Lance dreams of writing
something so well that it would touch the world and make
him a boatload of money. However, after rejection letter
upon rejection letter comes in, he’d just be happy
if he doesn’t end up alone.
In the meantime,
he’s surrounded by a set of characters that daily
test the man’s limits. Principal Anderson (Geoffrey
Pierson) is constantly on Lance to increase his class’s
enrollment, keeping the teacher firmly under his thumb.
Lance also has an undercover lover in art teacher Claire
(The sexy Alexie Gilmore), who may or may not be hanging
out with the hotter and younger creative writing teacher
Mike (Henry Simmons). The main thorn in Lance’s side
is his troublesome internet porn loving son Kyle (Former
Spy Kid Daryl Sabara). With all these distractions, Lance
remains an upbeat hopeful schlub still following his dream.
point, there’s an important thing to know about World’s
Greatest Dad. From here on out, do NOT read any other
descriptions of the film because of the massive spoilers that
most movie descriptions of this film have given out. The impact
of this film comes in a major plot point halfway through the
film and knowing it’s coming defuses some of the kick
this movie delivers. It’s best to go into World’s
Greatest Dad just knowing the perimeter of the film and
slowly drifting into the heart of it.
With that being
said, an event happens in Lance’s life that changes
everything. He begins questioning his position in life and
rides a dark wave that may lead him to everything he’s
ever wanted. But it begins to change him and soon Lance
isn’t too sure he made the right decision.
Greatest Dad is at its best when in the hands of Goldthwait
and Williams. From the first frame of the film, it’s
obviously all Goldthwait (who also wrote the film), but
throughout we’re all reminded why Robin Williams is
an Oscar winner and not just the crossdresser from Mrs.
Doubtfire. Williams is outstanding in this film and
truly conveys a man on a personal journey. Goldthwait’s
wit is all over this film in the snappy writing and with
small directorial choices that actually bring humanity to
an inhumane film.
reason this movie affected me as much as it did was its
ability to say something without actually saying it. A lot
of films try to beat you over the head with a message, but
Dad puts the pieces right there in front of you and forces
you to put them all together. Dad speaks on popularity issues,
fame, inclusion and exclusion and family. It’s smartly
written and it says so much.
an indie film with indie film sensibilities but to the casual
viewer it works as just good drama. There are a lot of sexual
references in the film but nothing overly graphic, yet in
one hilarious scene, great, touching drama is obtained through
the dirtiest of references.
Greatest Dad is an outstanding achievement from Goldthwait
and Williams and one of the year’s best films. In
limited release throughout the country now, do yourself
a favor and give it a viewing while it’s still in