World’s Greatest Dad
starring Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Evan Martin, Lorraine Nicholson, Henry Simmons, Geoff Person and Bruce Hornby as “Bruce Hornby”
written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
World’s Greatest Dad is described as a black comedy. I rented it because I saw Robin Williams’ picture on the DVD box cover and it looked like a dramatic role, not a comedic one. So I figured I wanted to see Robin Williams in (another) dramatic role. I was disappointed. Williams plays a divorced high school teacher and failed novelist living with his obnoxious teenage son and working at a job he hates. His son is a real douche bag. The boy accidentally kills himself by asphyxiation during a bout of auto erotic asphyxiation. My wife at least began watching the movie with me and I had to explain to her how the boy died, what auto erotic asphyxiation is. (Masturbation is “onani” in Japanese, named after Biblical Onan. Onan traditionally gets kind of a bum rap, because biblical onanism is not masturbation at all, but coitus interruptus. But I digress.) Dad comes home from a date with a fellow teacher, finds his son in his bedroom but then repositions his body to make it look like a suicide by hanging. Then he types an accompanying suicide note.
Low and behold, the idiot douche bag son becomes the new poster boy for the entire adolescent suicide interventionists, and some kind of Gothic hero in the eyes of his school mates who, in fact, never really liked him much in life anyway.
Some people are suspicious by the unexpected literacy of the suicide note, and over time Dad’s fiction becomes increasingly difficult to maintain and he feels the risk associated with its increasing difficulty. In the end, though, he comes clean and admits that his son died while masturbating. Not very funny, I thought. (I take masturbation much more seriously than that.)