World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
Written and Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
If you’ve viewed any of my past reviews then this will certainly seem a bit like the odd man out. However I thought I would take a break from my usual slash and gash type of films and dip into the drama/comedy end of my movie spectrum. This one stars easily, one of my top ten favorite actors Robin Williams and the well-known Spy Kid and bully from Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Daryl Sabara as his son.
This dark comedy was able to achieve a sincere, heartfelt and hilarious at times script with a charismatic cast that assisted in allowing William’s to truly shine. It’s a rather uncommon tale in that it tells of a son who accidentally kills himself when his allure of masturbation leads to a tragic scene in which William’s finds him estranged. Deciding to not let his son’s death be in vain, he forges a suicide note which begins to get attention when the school newspaper decides to publish the letter. After getting the attention that he was never able to obtain as a writer himself, he decides to use his tragedy towards achieving something he had long waited for.
To say that this film was Willam’s best performance in the past ten years would mean negating the films Insomnia, One Hour Photo along with a couple of others that were sure to entertain in their respected aspects. However William certainly gave yet another compelling presentation of the great acting he has already accustomed his fans to. A teacher by day, writer/father by night, all Lance wanted was to be closer to his son. In a scene that is both personal and genuine, your heart breaks along with his character when he finds Kyle in his room. The circumstances leading to his character eventually being able to liberate himself and breaking free of where his actions had taken him. There shouldn’t be too much said on the matter besides, William’s was perfect.
Kyle, played by Sabara, is a normal enough teenager in that he hates everything in existence. Seldom does he do anything outside of looking at pornography or masturbating. Which is ultimately what caused his pre-mature death, no pun intended. Sabara was able to pull off a rather humorous role. After he passes away he comes back as ghosts of the different kind of students and I certainly thought they were amusing. He was also able to oppose Williams rather nicely; periodically they would go “tit-for-tat” if you will and were able to keep the humor between them completely serious. While it is mentioned in the film that his mother is no longer with them, the reason as to what could truly be bothering him is left to be inferred, if anything at all. His character is also quite often a prick to his father as well as the one friend that does put up with his antics.
The script makes itself clear in that as well of an exaggeration of the events at hand, how certain situations can make people act. A very cleverly written script that is aware of the message it is sending and showing that sometimes, life just sucks. Here you have a father who just wanted to have a conversation with his son that didn’t involve an argument of some sort. Fighting through the oh so typical teenage angst that every parent tries to fight when their mere hatred for the things around them might have brought them together. We’re shown realistic characters whose actions are quite frankly just crappy but relatable of those we surround ourselves with. If you’re willing enough, people will walk all over your entire life. So we’re shown someone who is tired of letting the world benefit from his misery and wants to do something about it. I thought it was an extremely touching story of what happens when life can revert you back to square one and you’re not sure of the next direction your headed.
There was a truth that also rang all too familiar. In high school we had lost a couple of students through the years due to fatal car accidents. While I understand the different content, it was remarkable how easily the students would completely modify their prior behavior and felt that coming together as a school would somehow fix things. That may seem a bit jumbled up and I apologize. What I’m meaning is that much like in the film, people can be just as fake. We witness harmful actions that probably occur daily and to a lot of people. Everyone has issues, everyone hurts, why do you have to be the asshole that goes around and starts throwing your insecurities all over the place? Overall, the film was well done. Even though you may shed a tear or two, they more than make up with the laughter that will proceed.