World’s Greatest Dad (2009) – 4/5

A solid, occasionally over structured comedy/drama full of sex, lies, and a buck naked Robin Williams. Why the filmmakers felt the need to include a shot of Robin Williams naked is beyond me, but hey, it was still enjoyable. The film, that is, not the naked scene.

Not much to say about this one. It has its funny moments, it has its sad, dark dramatic moments, it has an interesting, though predictable, story, it has good acting, it has a shot of Robin Williams naked. It’s a good film overall.

There’s a scene near the middle where Robin Williams’ character goes on this Oprah type talk show that had to be the weirdest thing I think I’ve ever seen him do. He keeps alternating between crying and laughing, with his squinty eyes and weird little smirk; it’s just so bizarre. Yet it works in its own unusual way. I also liked the scene at the end where ***SPOILERS** he finally confesses everything and ends up diving into the school’s pool, thus symbolically purifying himself of all the lies he had told throughout the film. ***END SPOILERS** Sure, it’s very on the nose, but it was a nice touch. Though, again, I could have gone without seeing Robin Williams naked.

The main problem I had with it was the structure of the story, namely, how utterly straightforward it all was. It’s obvious that the screenwriter/director, the idiotically named “Bobcat Goldthwait,” took the basic 3-act formula and simply “filled in the blanks” when developing the script. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes for pretty predictable, uninspired storytelling. Eh.

I also didn’t buy the ending. Sure, I understand why Williams did what he did morally and psychologically, but come on. Would someone in his position really **SPOILERS** give up everything just because of some guilt he felt over exploiting what would otherwise have been a senseless and embarrassing tragedy? Clearly his elevation of the incident was helping people, including himself, so why not keep up the charade? On “moral” grounds? Come on. Everyone would have been better off had he just shut his mouth and continued to play along. ***END SPOILERS** But that’s just me.

Anyway, good film, nothing great, but entertaining. And did I mention Robin Williams gets naked in it? Oh yes, he sure does.

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