World's Greatest Dad

Release Date: August 21, 2009
Limited release

Robin Williams hangs out with Royal Tenenbaum.

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Position Staff In Brief
23/169 Max Braden This is a darkly, subversively funny drama. Just when I thought there was no way it would work, it did. Bobcat Goldthwait is proving to be a good director. Who would have thought?

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Robin Williams returns to theatres in the black comedy World’s Greatest Dad.

In recent years, having Robin Williams above the title has brought as much box office success as Eddie Murphy, but unlike the latter, Mr. Williams will actually change the parameters of his performance and step away from the continuous conveyor belt output of monotonous family comedies. Magnolia Pictures, the film’s distributor, intends to continue its tradition of making the movie available by “Video on Demand” on the cable channel HDNet during its first week of release. Therefore, it is highly probable that Robin Williams will have to wait until the release of Old Dogs before he has a legitimate chance to reclaim his box office glory.

The good news for the viewer, however, is that World’s Greatest Dad looks to be quite entertaining and it has already received some favorable reviews since premiering at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Another excellent sign is the film’s restricted rating. This will not be another dull, dim-witted comedy such as License to Wed, Man of The Year, or RV. It is more in the tradition of Robin Williams’ other black comedies, The Big White and Death to Smoochy. Leave the kids at home when you go to see this one.

Robin Williams has already proven that he can be a credible actor in a dark role with his excellent performance in Insomnia, One Hour Photo, The Last Cut, and most recently an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. It will be interesting to see if he can still bring the laughter to such a bleak role.

Starring as Lance Clayton,Williams’ character is a man who has been unable to obtain his dream of becoming a famous writer, and he has learned to settle as a high school poetry teacher. His son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), is a disrespectful ass who refuses to obey his father’s wishes, and his girlfriend, Claire (Alexie Gimore), has her attention focused on a bigger prize. When a freak accident occurs, Lance is forced to face both tragedy and opportunity. Suddenly, all his dreams can come true, as long as he can live to accept the consequences of his decision.

Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, yes, you read that right, the lunatic from the Police Academy series, World’s Greatest Dad is a dark and original comedy that should influence its viewers to face their own issues with family and the constantly growing compulsion in society to be famous. (Ryan O'Neill/BOP)

Vital statistics for World's Greatest Dad
Main Cast Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara
Supporting Cast Geoff Pierson, Henry Simmons, Mitzi McCall
Director Bob Goldthwait
Screenwriter Bob Goldthwait
Distributor Magnolia Pictures
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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