Tuesday, January 18, 2011

World's Greatest Dad (2009) R - 3 Stars

I'm not sure everyone will like this dark comedy that turns tragedy into opportunity. Viewers hoping to see the whimsical comedic side of Williams will be disappointed with this non politically correct adaptation. Though Williams gives one of his best dramatic performances, the subject matter, language and topic might be disturbing to some, especially dealing with suicide. Sabara gives a very convincing performance as Kyle, the kid you will definitely want to hate.

Lance Clayton's, (Robin Williams), life has taken a turn for the worse. After a nasty divorce, he is awarded sole custody of his teenage son Kyle, (Daryl Sabara). Lance dreams of becoming a famous writer but he can't get published and resorts to teaching a poetry class at the same school Kyle attends. Even his poetry class is threatened to close due to low attendance and enthusiasm for his class. All he can do is try to form a quality relationship with his son but that proves to be a struggle in itself.

Kyle is not your typical teenage son. His only friend, Andrew, (Evan Martin), seems nothing like the rude, foul mouthed boy that Kyle is. Constantly insulting his father every time he speaks and spending free time spying on neighbors undressing, Kyle's main focus is watching video and Internet porn. One day as Lance enters Kyle's room, he is horrified to find Kyle masturbating to porno while asphyxiation chocking himself with an elastic rope. Lance tries to stress to his son how dangerous this is and forbids him from ever trying this again.

Back at school Lance is attracted to, and somewhat dating the art teacher Claire, (Alexie Gilmore), but he soon adds more to his insecurity watching Claire befriend English teacher Mike, (Henry Simmons). Mike is the proud recipient of having one of his pieces published in the The New Yorker, and Lance feels he's being ignored yet again. It isn't until Lance sadly discovers his son dead from his quirky sexual release, that his writing is finally discovered. While trying to cover up the lude acts preformed by his son, he writes an award winning suicide note giving his sons death some dignity. This turns out to be the writing that finally gives Lance the voice he deserves but how can he stare victory in the face knowing how he got there.

Darko Entertainment, Gradient Effects, Magnolia Pictures
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait
Producers: Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
I viewed 12/10

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