World's Greatest Dad (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 21 2010

It’s fair to say no one was expecting this. Directed by the guy who played Zed in the ‘Police Academy’ movies and starring that rubber-faced bastion of family-friendly Hollywood mush known as Robin Williams (pictured below), on the surface ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ reeks of direct-to-DVD disaster. Williams plays Lance Clayton, unpublished author, uninspiring teacher and unhappy father to the most obnoxious teenage brat on the planet. Kyle (Daryl Sabara, unrecognisable from his chubby-cheeked ‘Spy Kids’ days) is a grasping, hate-fuelled loser: when long-suffering Lance, possessed by compassion, quizzes his son on his idea of fun, Kyle replies, ‘I like looking at vaginas. All day, every day.’

There are shades of ‘Rushmore’ here – remember Bill Murray’s grotesque ginger kids? – and the script plays on the same sense of bittersweet longing and middle-aged desperation. But writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait’s vision is far grimmer than Wes Anderson’s: a better comparison might be Woody Allen’s bitter and twisted early ’90s movies, particularly the jawdroppingly cynical and foulmouthed ‘Deconstructing Harry’.

With Lance, Goldthwait has handed Williams the role of a lifetime, and he responds with the boldest, most heartfelt turn of his career: when tragedy strikes and the movie shifts from darkly funny to outright bleak, his warmth is the only thing preventing the film from spiralling into a black hole of misanthropy. That it avoids cynicism to become a warped but euphoric tribute to human endurance merely confirms the film as the bravest, smartest comedy of the year.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Sep 24, 2010

Duration:

99 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|15
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Paul

Expected a lot given the good reviews but felt this was a film and script done by the numbers to manufacture a story. The film became progressively predictable as it went along and I wanted to groan as it creaked from scene to cliched scene. The only unexpected highlight was that someone took a lawnmower to Williams for the final scene, thank goodness,

contrarian

just seen it - a flawless and unexpected delight - laugh out loud from the off as well a buckets of nuance, insight,terrific/faultless acting by all (including mr w) only 2 small caveats - the relationship between teachers a little unlikely from a physical/sexual perspective and the post "suicide" beatification went a little far - but life affirming and uplifting stuff - to me anyway...

contrarian

just seen it - a flawless and unexpected delight - laugh out loud from the off as well a buckets of nuance, insight,terrific/faultless acting by all (including mr w) only 2 small caveats - the relationship between teachers a little unlikely from a physical/sexual perspective and the post "suicide" beatification went a little far - but life affirming and uplifting stuff - to me anyway...

GS

Has it's moments but is ultimately disappointing. Robin Williams acting seems rather odd at times. Average.

meh

After such a gushing review, the film itself was a disappointment. In comic execution I found it hit and miss - a lot of the laughs came through the use of vulgar language rather than the impish wit the film believes it possesses. And the second half of the film attempts to ratchet up the moral tension to provide the final scenes' catharsis, but the narrative is not strong enough to pull it off. Not a bad film per se, and a million miles better than semi-recent Robin Williams rubbish such as 'RV'. However, 'World's Greated Dad' aims to recapture some of the pathos and comic absurdity of 'Donnie Darko' and 'Napoleon Dynamite' respectively - but falls short of both.

Mike

For Williams this is a big step away from familiar territory of slapstick or family comedy. This is dark, dark humour - a family comedy from a totally different angle. In particular, the rivalry with another teacher was very well done. That said, the laughs aren't that frequent - or so thought the 100-ish member audience I saw this with. It was brave of Williams to be photographed naked like that - he certainly had the look of someone who hasn't been to the gym in a while. The best bit of the film is where he's coming to the surface of the pool - played in slow motion - that was excellent. But the rest of the film gets a generous three stars.

lucy1sally1

Yes, who would have believed it! but the star of such cinematic masterpieces as "Jack" "Patch Adams" and "Death to Smoochy" has just made my favourite film of the year so far.

lucy1sally1

Yes, who would have believed it! but the star of such cinematic masterpieces as "Jack" "Patch Adams" and "Death to Smoochy" has just made my favourite film of the year so far.

Daniel

Another fine film by Bobcat Goldthwait, with Robin Williams in his warmest performance. If you're new to Goldthwait's writing/directing you should check out "Sleeping Dogs Lie" - as offensive as it is charming.

Daniel

Another fine film by Bobcat Goldthwait, with Robin Williams in his warmest performance. If you're new to Goldthwait's writing/directing you should check out "Sleeping Dogs Lie" - as offensive as it is charming.

Kumar

Incredibly enjoyable. Great performance by the village characters. Would have cut down on the screwball farce by ten minutes or so but otherwise a really good film

Kumar

Incredibly enjoyable. Great performance by the village characters. Would have cut down on the screwball farce by ten minutes or so but otherwise a really good film

Gort

Yeah really great movie. Directing looks like a mix of Wes Anderson movies and Donnie Darko.

Gort

Yeah really great movie. Directing looks like a mix of Wes Anderson movies and Donnie Darko.

Moriah

~very impressive performance from Mr. Williams... overall extemely worthwhile