WYSHW: World’s Greatest Dad

Last Monday, August 11, the Internet exploded. Everyone all over social media began to scramble to answer one simple question – “is it true?” Sadly, yes. Robin Williams, beloved actor, comedian, and all around cool guy, took his life at the age of 63.

worlds-greatest-dadI don’t want to harp too much on this – after all, there’s not much left to say. In return, I’d rather celebrate this man’s legacy by talking about a lesser-known Williams film that’s all about, well, legacy: World’s Greatest Dad, directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite (which is also currently streaming).

I would like to start out saying that given the content of the film, I could see quite a few people getting upset about this one. So, take some time on this one.

Alright.

Why Juni, why!?

Why Juni, why!?

Lance Clayton (Williams) is a failed writer turned English teacher (aren’t they all), who is father to probably the worst teenage boy in existence, Kyle (Daryl Sabara). Okay, to be fair I say that sort of thing about a lot of teenagers, but we’re talking lord-god-king douchebag. One fateful day, Lance walks in to discover that Kyle accidentally killed himself in an act of autoerotic asphyxiation gone awry.

Crushed by his discovery and wishing to save his son (and more likely himself) from the embarrassment, Lance poses Kyle’s body as a suicide and writes a heartfelt note on his son’s behalf before calling the police. The note is later obtained and published in Lance’s/Kyle’s school newspaper, and Kyle soon becomes a posthumous icon for the students. Having finally been recognized for his writing, Lance decides to pen a journal under Kyle’s name, which soon becomes published as a national phenomenon.

Admittedly, this is a film about terrible people. Simultaneously, it’s a fantastic satire on the cult of celebrity. And again, I warn you (and as if you couldn’t tell by my little synopsis there), this movie is dark. Not to mention especially heartbreaking given the circumstances.

Though it’s been a couple years since I sat down and watched this movie, but one thing that stuck out in my head was how absurdly funny the whole thing was. That, and William’s incredible range on display. Despite being crass and about terrible people, World’s Greatest Dad is an unexpected gem worth checking out.

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Though he may be gone, his legacy of laughter will always remain in our hearts and minds. And with that, we will miss you.

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About reelgirl

Film lover, kitsch enthusiast, and all around neat gal. You can read what I'm up to at Reel Girl Reviews!

Posted on August 24, 2014, in Feature, Netfix, What You Should Have Watched and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is one I’ll look for. It’s more my style than Mrs Doubtfire or Jumanji. Or even Dead Poet’s Society.
    While we’re dealing with largely unknown movies, a friend recommended Detachment, starring Adrien Brody as a substitute teacher in a tough school. There are some interesting names in the cast but most make only brief appearances; Bryan Cranston gets right away from Walter White in his scene as a Total Prick of A Husband. James Caan is absolutely brilliant.
    According to IMDB the movie did the festival circuit and that was it. The DVD release seems to have happened almost by accident.

  2. Oh, boy. This was so much fun. And for all the wrong reasons. The movie hadn’t run a full ten minutes before I was thinking that Kyle deserved to die on a deserted road under a blazing sun while being sodomised by a pox ridden junkie. What a fkn pos that kid was. And then…
    ‘Angel in cargo pants.’
    Plus the fight over the CD.
    Yes, they pushed it right to the edge with this one.
    Great movie, Reelgirl! Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Reblogged this on The mind is an unexplored country. and commented:
    Now that initial shock has passed… Reelgirl presents the Robin Williams movie you really do need to see.

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