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Sunday, February 07, 2010

World's Greatest Dad

2009 99 minutes
Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore
Written and Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
***.5 out of ****
That crazy-voiced comedian from the 80s is back with a madcap comedy. I am of course talking about Bobcat Goldthwait, who in the last few years has quite skillfully transitioned from stand-up and acting to writing and directing. Here he gives Robin Williams his best role in perhaps decades, letting him show the sensitive side we already knew he could portray, while also allowing him to revel in the kind of dark humor he came to fame by thirty years ago. The shade of dark here is black, the plot almost impossible not to spoil except to say that it begins with an extremely dysfunctional father-son relationship and ends with Williams naked in a swimming pool. The acting is great all around, particularly that of Sabara, who gives an almost virtuosic performance as an insanely stupid teen. The film, while never dulling it's brutal edge, still manages to be surprisingly poignant and tender, somehow balancing its perversity with well-earned pathos.

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