OCMC: Lance Clayton in World’s Greatest Dad

wgd-1Okay, I believe I’ve got this week mapped out the way I want. We’re going to start with the heavier performances and work our way out of the dark side of things. Like Anakin Skywalker, only trending in the opposite direction.

So this little. . .thing that I’m doing. . . .to pay proper tribute to the full range of acting chops Robin Williams undeniably possessed might seem like it’s starting a bit solemnly — I mean, I’m not sure you can find a darker comedy that this man has been in (perhaps Death to Smoochy gives it a run for its money) — but as the week goes on I’ll do my best to turn that frown upside-down by looking into some of his more funny moments. Come next Sunday, hopefully we will have built our way up to a fitting conclusion to this man’s legacy.

His wickedly fast comedic tongue most assuredly is what he’s most known for, though his markedly reserved dramatic persona is not to be ignored, either. Frequently these smaller moments in a career packed with bigger and more luminous ones are overlooked, because. . . well, we all do love it so when Robin makes us laugh.

Here, though, we couldn’t be further from that comfort. In this pitch-black comedy involving a high school teacher who is broken by his son’s suicide (and there’s no really good way of saying this) via autoerotic asphyxiation, Robin Williams demonstrates a truly heartbreaking reaction to his son’s untimely death. This one moment may be particularly sensitive given the events that have since transpired, but this is as good as I’ve ever seen Williams hold the screen as far as convincing us that real loss is going on around him.

World’s Greatest Dad is directed by none other than Bobcat Goldthwait (still the best name in the business, if you were to ask me. . .but you’re not so I guess we can move on) and stars Robin Williams as the aforementioned teacher; Daryl Sabara as his awful son Kyle; Alexie Gilmore as Lance’s love interest as well as colleague. . .and then several, several names you’ve likely never heard of.

The bulk of the movie’s emotional heft revolves around these key players, with various supporting roles showing up in the latter half of the film to offer support and their condolences to the shattered man. And this is precisely where the movie starts to take a really, really darkly comic turn. I don’t know. This movie is pretty weird, but I enjoy it. An overlooked piece for sure.

Quoted: “Ernest Hemingway once said all he wanted to do was write one true sentence. He also tried to scratch an itch on the back of his head with a shotgun.”


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Photo credits: http://www.imdb.com 

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16 thoughts on “OCMC: Lance Clayton in World’s Greatest Dad

  1. I’m the same as Mutant–never even heard of this one until after Williams’ death. Sounds like a worthy watch. Very nice tribute, Tom. Apologies for the belated comments!

  2. My knowledge of Bobcat Goldthwait goes as far as the recent horror movie Willow Creek and I actually had no idea that he directed a movie starring Williams. I have seen this movie while scrolling through Netflix but I never gave it a second look for whatever reason. I suppose it was because I thought it was just a random Netflix flick that stars someone big yet gets negative reviews and no attention. Like Everybody’s Fine with Deniro! Or William’s very own starring film, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn….

    Seems like I should have looked it up…

    • Yeah this is no Angriest Man in Brooklyn, I’ll definitely say that. Wait. . . no I won’t. I haven’t seen Angriest Man, so I can’t say for sure but this is a pretty quality flick man. But the humor runs pitch-black throughout, so be prepared. This particular scene is intense but it just goes to show the emotional depth of this man. I’d recommend a rental at some point 😀

  3. The scene you shared hurts like a bitch. I haven’t rewatched it since his death because of how… no. But yes, what an underrated movie with one of Williams’ best performances.

    • Thanks Mark, you know the thing with this movie is that a lot of people can’t buy into the sadistic nature of it. Man conjures up a suicide note that he thought his son would leave behind. It’s pretty dark, but if you have a few minutes to spare, I do suggest taking a look at it. He’s definitely good in it, and arguably the best part about it. Thanks for joining in here man.

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