Friday, September 4, 2009

Bobcat Goldthwaite casts Robin Williams as "World's Greatest Dad"

Trust writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait to push the edges of extreme, uncomfortable, distasteful comedy.
Robin Williams stars as "The World's Greatest Dad" in an inky black comedy about sex, suicide and hero worship.
Williams is Lance Clayton, a failed novelist, failed husband and failing dad, divorced and living with his surly, sex-obsessed 15-year-old son Kyle (Daryl Sabara).
Lance tries to teach poetry to high school students who couldn't care less.
In fact if attendence doesn't pick up, his classes will be dropped, the principal warns.
The only bright spot in Lance's life is Claire Reed (Alexie Gilmore), a sexy young teacher who has taken a shine to the older man.
But even Claire is beginning to slip away when her attentions are distracted by a young, hunky, basketball-playing fellow teacher.
Could things gets any worse for hapless Lance?
Yes they could- much worse.
His virtually friendless son has developed a morbid obsession with extreme mastrubation; the kind where you bring yourself to the brink of self-strangulation for the ultimate orgasm.
You guessed it: one of Kyle's capers goes horribly wrong and Lance is faced with the ultimate horror of the loss of a child.
None of this sounds very funny, I know, but believe it or not there are funny satirical jibes at high school life, male vanity, female fickleness and the comic pathos of outsiders.
Faced with the twin tragedy of his son's death and its unfortunate cause, Lance decides to rewrite Kyle's destiny, quite literally, with a poignant, erudite suicide note.
When the note gets posted on the Internet, Kyle morphs from loser to sensitive, tortured hero. Lance makes matters worse by fabricating a diary with more of the same astute, introspective, heartbreaking commentary on the anguish of being unloved.
Lance Clayton is the anti-John Keating, the inspirational poetry teacher in "Dead Poet's Society." Lance is selfish, cowardly, devious, obsequious and undependable. Williams goes through self-laceration in depicting the character's tortured fall and repentance.
Funny? No. Fascinating? Completely.
It comes as no surprise this film was pulled from theaters at the last minute here in South Florida. I am told it is available by Video on Demand from cable outlets. It's definitely worth a look, but not for those easily offended.