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Sundance 2009: “World’s Greatest Dad.”

Sundance 2009: “World’s Greatest Dad.” (photo)

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Bobcat Goldthwait’s not what you would call a natural filmmaker — while “World’s Greatest Dad” isn’t half as clumsy looking as his 2006 Sundance bestiality-themed rom-com “Stay,” it’s still rough as all hell and reliant on handfuls of endless music montages. But as a screenwriter, he’s among the best in what’s its own subcategory these days: the sentimental center/outrageous set-up flick, the movie genre equivalent of the hooker with the heart of gold. And the premise of “World’s Greatest Dad” is near-brilliant: A high school English teacher with unfulfilled dreams of being a successful author, Lance (Robin Williams) is the father of sullen teenager Kyle (Daryl Sabara) whose only interests seem to be demeaning his sad-sack single parent and his lone friend Andrew (Evan Martin) and masturbating. While spicing up the latter with some autoerotic asphyxiation, Kyle accidentally strangles to death, and rather than let that be the way the world knows his son departed, Lance fakes Kyle’s suicide, adding a note of his own creation, which the school paper gets hold of and publishes. Suddenly Kyle is the school martyr, everyone relating to his fabricated sensitive soul, and Lance, basking in the reflected glow of his late offspring’s posthumous popularity, joins the widening ranks of the literary frauds, writing a journal and passing it off as Kyle’s.

In underplaying Lance, Williams produces one of his least irritating performances in years, even managing some blackly funny bits in a segment in which he’s invited onto an Oprah-esque talk show and turns a fatal urge to laugh into almost convincing tearfulness. But it’s the film’s dedication to Kyle’s really being a horrible little shit that gives “World’s Greatest Dad” some tolerable pathos — the more people that mourn the boy as they think he was, the more that Lance feels isolated in his genuine mourning, even as he gets everything he’s every wanted.

“World’s Greatest Dad” currently has no U.S. distribution. See all of’s Sundance coverage here.

[Photo: “World’s Greatest Dad,” Darko Entertainment, 2009]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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