“A long time ago, a friend told me about this movie. They described it as being a far more depressing movie than you’d expect from the title and the presence of Robin Williams, that it involved suicide and other heavy themes. I think this conversation may have happened before Williams’ death (Side bar: I refuse to say that he committed suicide, I prefer to say he died from depression. I feel it’s an important semantic difference that spotlights mental illness in hopes of bringing about a better understanding of it) but either way those are themes that always draw me to a film. I was intrigued.
So here’s what the story actually is. Williams is a failed writer and single father to one jerk of a teenage boy (as most teenage boys tend to be). The son (Daryl Sabara) accidentally dies from auto-erotic asphyxiation (maybe be careful about googling that term), and his devastated father covers it up as a suicide, including a note he composed himself. Now suddenly every enemy the son made is mourning his loss and touched by the poignant letter he left. Things get kinda outta hand from there.
Tonally, this is one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen. I guess I’d classify it as a dark dramedy? I almost felt icky watching it, just because the situation was so uncomfortable. Williams carried the film like the pro that he is, but I can see why this movie was sort of lost to obscurity. Except for the fact that I will eat up any movie that he’s in, I kinda feel like it should stay hidden. It’s not really one for the masses, but instead should be more like a merit badge to be able to say you’ve seen it. A very low level badge, but something reserved for the few.”