BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT’S WORLD’S GREATEST DAD — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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I always preferred Robin Williams when he went DARK — stuff like Insomnia (as good as remakes get), Death to Smoochy (brilliant satire), What Dreams May Come (visionary), One Hour Photo (supremely creepy), Good Will Hunting (downbeat but still lovable), and The Final Cut (unnerving) rank as my favorite movies from this legendary comedic actor — but I am not sure anyone was prepared for how screwed-up and obscenely hysterical Bobcat Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad was going to be. This is a scalding, deeply perverted, and oddly touching little comedy that’s destined to find a huge cult following. The less you know about the story the better, but here’s a small summary: Williams is high school teacher and failed writer Lance Clayton, a single dad who is raising his punk-ass teenage son Kyle (the amazingly nasty Daryl Sabara) and carrying on a secret relationship with fellow teacher Claire (the extremely cute Alexie Gilmore). When Kyle accidentally (and embarrassingly) dies, Lance decides to write a suicide note on behalf of his son. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Again, know as little about this movie as possible before you check it out. All I will say is that it’s one of the sharpest high school satires since Election, and overall, the film has a nasty streak of diseased humor running through its cinematic veins that is extremely refreshing. It’s also a unique film about parenting and family, and while much of the delinquent son’s behavior might putt off some people from even attempting reproduction, Goldthwait’s narrative still has plenty of genuine heart. This is an audacious, unsafe comedy, unafraid to go to some truly bleak places, and always succeeding because of Goldthwait’s ability to cull humor out of the perverse. Williams gives a terrific performance, on par with his career best work in stuff like Insomnia, Death to Smoochy, and One Hour Photo; when he wanted to knock it out of the park, he really crushed it. This is easily one of the funniest, most transgressive comedies in years, on par with stuff like Observe and Report and Bad Santa.

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