Festival Updates Spotlight: Bobcat Goldthwait

Faith Salie speaks with director Bobcat Goldthwait and festival attendees on the streets of Park City about his film, WORLD’S GREATEST DAD.

U.S.A., 2009, 98 min., color

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. In WORLD’S GREATEST DAD, a wickedly funny dark comedy, Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) discovers that what he covets most in life may not be what makes him happy, and being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone.

Lance is a high school poetry teacher who dreams of becoming a rich and famous writer. A single father, he tries desperately to connect with his teenage son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), an insolent, hormone-raging smartass who defies his dad at every turn. Lance exercises his own hormones with Claire (Alexie Gilmore), a painfully adorable art teacher who may have her eyes on a bigger prize. After a freak accident, Lance suddenly faces both the worst tragedy of his life, and the greatest opportunity. Determined to make lemonade from life’s lemons, Lance treads a path that could land him everything he’s ever dreamed of, as long as he can live with the knowledge of how he got there.

Alexie Gilmore is cheeky and Daryl Sabara is droll incarnate, but it’s the outstanding performance by Robin Williams that propels WORLD’S GREATEST DAD. Writer/director and longtime-comedian Bobcat Goldthwait returns to Sundance with another lusciously perverse, and refreshingly original comedy that tackles love, loss, and our curious quest for infamy. —DAVID COURIER

ExP: Edward H. Hamm Jr., Jennifer Roth Pr: Tim Perell, Howard Gertler, Sean McKittrick, Richard Kelly CoP: Sarah de Sa Rego Ci: Horacio Marquinez Ed: Jason Stewart PrD: John Paino Principal Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Kenny, Geoffrey Pierson, Henry Simmons, Mitzi Mccall, Tony V