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Comedy Movies - World's Greatest Dad - Just For Laughs 2009 Movie Preview

World's Greatest Dad - Just For Laughs 2009 Movie Preview
Starring: Robin Williams and Alexie Gilmore
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Year: 2009

Bobcat Goldthwait brought his latest movie to the Montreal Just For Laugh Festival last night at the Imperial Theatre. If there has been a darker comedy in recent years it has flown under this critic’s radar. When you hear that Bobcat Goldthwait and Robin Williams have teamed up to make a comedy the expectation isn’t one that would spend the first half of the movie being slowly spiraled downward into darkness.

Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad is an exploration of personal motivation, whether it is more important to be liked by others or by yourself and the validity of an honourable lie. Big ideas for a comedy and that is in part what Goldthwait is known for: He doesn’t make comedies for teens. On the other hand this comedy is not for those who prefer the lighter side of life because it is relentless in pursuit of the answers to the questions posed.

On the whole this is a very good movie but it is not for general consumption. While there is a love story involved this is not a romantic comedy, while there is some very strong sexual language involved this is not a sex farce, while there are some great one liners this is not a stand-up bit. World’s Greatest Dad is a dark and frequently funny journey from one man’s land of living for others to living for himself. It is worth your time and effort if you have the temperament. The direction is good though some of the lighting choices questionable (scenes in the principal’s office come to mind) Robin Williams as Lance is a very strong lead as he has proven in the past with movies like Insomnia and One Hour Photo, Mitzi McCall as Lance’s next door neighbour is perfect, Henry Simmons (who I thought was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) delivers a fine performance as Mike along with a very strong performance by Alexi Gilmore as Lance’s love interest Claire.

If you have a dark bent this movie is for you – give it a shot.

Denis Bernicky

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