6.9/10
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141 user 127 critic

World's Greatest Dad (2009)

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2:33 | Trailer
When his son's body is found in a humiliating accident, a lonely high school teacher inadvertently attracts an overwhelming amount of community and media attention after covering up the truth with a phony suicide note.

Director:

Bobcat Goldthwait
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even ... See full summary »

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Stars: Bobcat Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Bruce Baum
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Lance
Daryl Sabara ... Kyle Clayton
Morgan Murphy ... Morgan
Naomi Glick ... Ginger
Dan Spencer Dan Spencer ... Dan Spencer
Geoff Pierson ... Principal Anderson
Henry Simmons ... Mike Lane
Zach Sanchez-Vitale ... Peter (as Zach Sanchez)
Alexie Gilmore ... Claire Reed
Evan Martin ... Andrew
Ellyn Jameson ... Jennifer (as Ellie Jameson)
Michael Thomas Moore Michael Thomas Moore ... Chris (as Michael Moore)
Ray Buckley ... Metal Kid (as Alles Mist)
Jermaine Williams ... Jason
Lorraine Nicholson ... Heather
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Storyline

Lance Clayton is a man who has learned to settle. His son, Kyle's an insufferable jerk. Lance is dating Claire, the school's art teacher, but she doesn't want to get serious or even acknowledge publicly they're dating. In the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy -- and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of; if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got it. Written by andrew mcgraime

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lance Clayton is about to get everything he deserves. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, crude and sexual content, some drug use and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 2010 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

World's Greatest Dad See more »

Filming Locations:

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,675, 23 August 2009

Gross USA:

$221,805

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$221,805
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait and actor Geoff Pierson (who plays the principal) starred together in the television series Unhappily Ever After (1995). See more »

Goofs

After Kyle's journal is published, the motivational sign over the blackboard in Mike's classroom reads "Hard work is it's own reward". There is no apostrophe in "its" when it is used as a possessive. Mike teaches creative writing. See more »

Quotes

Kyle: Bruce Hornsby's a fag.
Lance Clayton: He's got kids, Kyle.
Kyle: You have a kid. And you're a fag.
See more »

Connections

References Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Genius
Written and Performed by Inara George
Courtesy of Everloving, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's never easy being a parent
17 September 2009 | by moviemanMASee all my reviews

Suburbia has transformed from an innocent place with friendly neighbors to a world full of miserable, sometimes disturbed people, dreams deferred, and earth-shattering secrets. From this year's Sundance Film Festival we have Bobcat Goldthwait's dark comedy World's Greatest Dad, we delve once again into the unknown of Any Town, USA.

This film mainly takes place in a school setting, but the themes and conflicts that arise coincide with those found in other films about suburbia. Robin Williams stars as struggling writer Lance Clayton. He lives with his son Kyle (Daryl Sabara), a porn obsessed, perverted teenager who attends the private school Lance teaches a not-so-popular poetry elective. There is tough love between the two. It's a typical teenager vs. the parent relationship only the censors have been turned off.

Lance is dating another teacher on staff, Claire (Alexie Gillmore), who he suspects isn't totally committed to their relationship. Life isn't getting any easier for Lance who struggles to reach his students or find a publisher for his work. When things couldn't get any worse, Lance suffers a blow few could recover from. From tragedy comes opportunity and it is up to Lance to decide what is the right thing to do.

It would be wrong of me to give away the tragedy, but it is something that does occur in Any Town, USA. In fact it happened not too long ago just a town over from me. It's the first time I can think of it being used in a film, or at least of this magnitude. There are several times during the film that I felt uncomfortable, but not to the point of disgust. There are some pretty heavy issues handled here and I think it is tasteful.

Williams does a fine job, especially in the second half of the film. For a comedian I can imagine it being difficult to change emotionally like that, but Williams has proved time after time in films like Good Will Hunting, One Hour Photo, and Insomniac that he can play just about any role thrown at him. He has a presence that is very real and powerful.

I was surprised by Sabara's performance as Kyle. I had only seen him in Spy Kids so I really didn't know what to expect. He seemed to have a clear idea of who Kyle was and what is motives are.

Goldthwait, who also wrote the screenplay, tackles a lot of issues both for adults and teenagers. At first I thought the film was going to end up like last years Towelhead, a hodgepodge of issues and conflicts that are each could have been their own film, but here we have an even dosage of each, culminating to a great finale and realization by William's character.

The film isn't perfect. One thing I don't like films to do is talk about other films. I feel like it is only a way for the writer to show off his movie knowledge and personal views about certain movies, although one segment involving zombie movies is relevant to the story. Occasionally it can be beneficial. Some of the scenes were a bit overdone with cheesy, overused dialogue, and some of the deliveries felt like they were just saying their lines and not really connecting with them.

Overall I was impressed. Goldthwait is not a big time filmmaker but this is certainly a step in the right direction (he has acted in several films and worked on other projects behind the camera). Williams gives one of his better performances as of late, but he doesn't steal the show. I thought the story was good enough to stand on its own, which is a very good thing. I hope this film doesn't get completely overlooked this year. You should try to see this one if you can.


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