My Five Favorite Robin Williams Movies

Guest blogger David Lobsoco writes:

WILLIAMS, ROBIN 5It is hard to believe someone who has made me laugh throughout my childhood and adult years is now gone. Robin Williams leaves behind a lasting legacy of wonderful work. I am not sure film ever fully captured his comic genius, but he made some memorable movies. Even the little supporting roles he had in crappy films like Nine Months (1995), Night at the Museum (2006) and License to Wed (2007) were memorable. It is hard to pick out my five favorite Robin Williams movies, and again these are just my preferences. (I personally did not like 1997’s Good Will Hunting). I think you will be surprised at what movies made my list of favorites:

5. RV (2006)

RVOkay, the family comedy RV is not the greatest movie ever made, but it really showed a more family-friendly comedy from Robin Williams. I didn’t see this film in the movie theaters, but whenever it is on television now, I have to stop and watch it. Even though Williams plays a devoted father in the film, his comedy still comes out. A prime example is when he is talking “street” to some bullies bothering his son. Robin Williams made better movies, but I love watching this film of his to feel good.

4. What Dreams May Come (1997)

WHAT DREAMS MAY COMEThis movie takes a whole other dark meaning in the wake of Williams’ apparent suicide. In the film, Robin dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing that anything he dreamed of. However, his wife is missing, because after Williams died, his wife killed herself and went to hell. Williams risks his life in heaven to save his wife from hell. The movie is amazing. It is unlike any movie I have ever seen. It is a very dark movie, while being a very optimistic movie as well.

3. Jack (1996)

JACK 1996This comedy/drama was directed by Frances Ford Coppola. Williams plays the role of Jack Powell, a boy who ages four times as fast as normal as a result of a disease, Werner syndrome, a form of progeria. What Williams brought to the role was ability to channel his inner child. The movie as a whole was not believable, but Williams really makes the role more realistic. He is also joined on screen by another comedy legend, Bill Cosby, who played his private tutor. It was great to see these comedic geniuses work together.

2. The Birdcage (1996)

BIRDCAGE, THEThis film is one of Williams’ best comedies, and for the most part he played the straight man (no pun intended) to his over-the-top life partner (played by Nathan Lane). Armand Goldman owns a popular drag nightclub in South Miami Beach. His long-time lover Albert stars there as Starina. “Their” son Val (actually Armand’s by his one heterosexual fling, two decades before) comes home to announce his engagement to Barbara Keely, daughter of U.S. Senator and vice president of the Committee for Moral Order Kevin Heely (played by Gene Hackman). The movie is a riot from beginning to end. If you only pick one Robin Williams comedy to watch as a tribute to his greatness, it should be this film.

1. One Hour Photo (2002)

ONE HOUR PHOTORobin should have won the Oscar for this film. This role is unlike any other Robin Williams role. There are no laughs in the film. Williams is almost unrecognizable as a demure photo lab technician that sort of goes off the deep end as he becomes to attached to his customers. Williams plays middle- aged Sy Parrish, a technician at a one-hour photo lab located in a SavMart store in a suburban mall. Sy is a lonely man, never having had any friends. He knows much about his customers through the photographs they have developed. But he knows more about the Yorkin family–specifically Nina Yorkin and her adolescent son Jake, the two who drop off and pick up the family’s photofinishing–than anyone else, the family about whom he is obsessed. I won’t spoil anymore of the film, but Williams should have taken home an Oscar for his performance.

Whatever demons Robin Williams had that caused this tragic end to a brilliant career never entered into his work in film. He could make us laugh, he could make us cry, and he could make us feel good when the lights in the movie theater came back on. Robin Williams was a brilliant actor, and these five films do not even scratch the surface of what an amazing career he had…

David Lobosco has loved movies, both old and new, since he was a child. Not only does he now share his love of movies with his two young children, but he currently writes a blog called A Trip Down Memory Lane.