Movies...Fuck 'Em - World's Greatest Dad
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone."
In my review of films from 2009 earlier this month, I listed several films that I was planning to watch that I felt could shake up my Top 10 list upon further review. At that time, I'd intentionally left World's Greatest Dad off of that list. I had planned to watch it, but held out very little hope for enjoying it. Well, let the shake up begin.
I loved this film. Written and directed by (four words that always put a hop in my step) Bobcat Goldthwait, it is the epitome of a black comedy. It explores the most selfish, narcissistic and easily influenced nature of people, and somehow, manages to squeeze just enough redemption out of it to make you feel good.
The subject matter is, well, I don't know... Taboo? Inappropriate? Cold? The characters are, well, unlikeable? Pitiful? Disturbed? So... why do I wish I was sitting on the couch with them at the end of the film? Why was I nearly moved to laugh and cry at the same time by someone being called a "douchebag"? Why will I never be able to hear Queen's "Under Pressure" again without recalling this film and how much I love it? (Think "Ooh La La" and Rushmore.)
Well, the answers to those questions, surprisingly enough, are, Robin Williams, Robin Williams, and Robin Williams. And if that doesn't fuck with your head as much as it did mine, then you clearly aren't familiar with my taste in film. The truth is, Robin Williams as Lance Clayton is to this film what Bill Murray is to Rushmore. And listen, I just don't go around throwing out comparisons to Rushmore on whims and fucking cookie crumbs.
Another thing, and this is something that I didn't appreciate immediately. This film is beautiful to look at. The shots are gorgeous and profound without being obtuse or pretentious. For example, near the end, Lance is walking across a parking lot, and is stopped just short of stepping over a painted parking space line by another character, Andrew, impeding his path. The symbolism in this shot is simple and moving, and when you see the film, you'll understand that at this point, although nearly there, Lance Clayton is not quite ready to cross the finish line.
I've purposely avoided talking specifically about the story. There is not a twist, so much as there is an event that drives the story forward for the last two-thirds of the film. A lot of reviews or synopsis of the film you can read will talk openly about it. Personally, I knew nothing about the plot going into watching the film, and, I think I gained more satisfaction from seeing it this way.
If you feel compelled, watch the trailer. Or, you can take my word for it. But either way, I hope you'll give this film a chance.
Bobcat Goldthwait has crafted a work of dark, foul humor, full of scathing satire and selfish, loathsome people. It's simply brilliant.
* * * * *
I have to say, the soundtrack for this film was also top notch, and introduced me to this tune, which has been wrapped around my head ever since...