2009 in Film

Given an extremely limited theatrical release back in August, World’s Greatest Dad has gone virtually ignored by, well, everyone.

This is a travesty.

To relay the plot is to give away the film’s central conceit (if you see it you’ll understand why that is), so all I’ll say is that this is one of those incredible roles that Robin Williams comes out with every few years as if to remind us that in between collecting fat paychecks for phoning in work on awful, awful movies he can still bring it. Williams fully disappears into his character as he anchors this darkest of comedies, and by dark I mean dark.

And yet, somehow at the end it manages to leave you uplifted and not feel forced as it does so. “Forced” is a word World’s Greatest Dad doesn’t understand. It’s as honest in its look at the capacity for an almost innocent kind of darkness in us all as it is uncompromising with its targets (cult of celebrity, sheep mentality, psychology, youthful stupidity) for scorn. It’s brilliantly authentic and authentically brilliant, and if box office grosses reflected quality it would have been a blockbuster. They don’t, and it wasn’t, because people like what they like instead of liking what’s good.

World’s Greatest Dad is an instant minor classic and one of the best films of the year. See it.

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