Basterds and Na'vi and Prawns, oh, my! Serious men, out of body trips, and Wild Things a-plenty.
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7. "World's Greatest Dad"
Bobcat Goldthwait is a big-hearted softie wrapped in a crunchy candy shell of evil. No other way to explain this blisteringly angry dark comedy that offers up one of the most despairing views of family life I've seen onscreen. Ever. And yet even with the almost unbearable first 40 minutes or so of the film, Goldthwait's not just trotting out some exercise in misanthropic foulness. Instead, he's earning the rest of the film's running time, in which Robin Williams, playing a father in despair over the accidental death of his son, does something that he justifies as good for the boy's memory, when in fact, it's a completely self-serving act. And then that act is rewarded in ways that Williams couldn't have predicted, and changes his life in ways he'd always dreamed of. Is it possible that an unthinkable tragedy could be the key to happiness? There are very few filmmakers who would tackle a story like this, and even fewer who could actually pull it off. If his very good earlier films "Shakes The Clown" and "Sleeping Dogs Lie" raised the question about whether or not Goldthwait is a great filmmaker, "World's Greatest Dad" offers a conclusive answer.
And, yes, this film's existence is the sole reason that I haven't demanded that Williams hand over his SAG card for the good of mankind after "Old Dogs."