Overlooked Film of the Week-#98
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
The passing of Robin Williams was terrifically hard on me. He is a rare talent that I find myself missing more and more. He is somebody I feel like we lost way too early, and if "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" was any indicator, Williams still had plenty of unique characters to create and several more laughs to share.
Robin Williams does what he does best in "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" he plays someone who seems like a huge asshole at first, but then somehow gets the audience to sympathize with him. Meet Henry Altman, a business man who spends more hours out of the day angry about something than any other emotion. As the movie opens, we learn Altman is going to see his doctor, and he learns his usual doctor is not there and his replacement Dr. Sharon Grill ( Mila Kunis) comes to see him. This sets Altman off, but once Dr. Grill informs him of his brain aneurism and how Altman has 90 minutes of life left to live, Altman spends the rest of his day trying to clear the air with the people in his life. That includes his son (Hamish Linklater) who he despises for choosing Dancing over a business career, that includes his estranged wife (Melissa Leo) and that includes an old friend from high school (Richard Kind) who still holds a grudge. All of these personalities crash in gleeful detail, but Dr. Grill is harboring a secret which could change everything.
The best part about this movie is how Robin Williams clashes with everybody around him. The argument at Altman's final party with Richard Kind's character is off-the-wall funny. There is also a great scene where Altman confronts his wife and wants to make love to her one last time, which is hard because she has their neighbor over, whom she has been having an affair with. Its a strikingly funny situation and it is very well-written. Williams and Leo and the rest of the cast is able to get the most out of their characters, and Williams in particular is one fire here. It almost seems that the script was written with Williams in mind, because it feels like something written by a person who understood all of his strengths.
Mila Kunis is also very good here. A testament to all of her worst critics. When Kunis connects with a character, it is unbelievably good how well she can act. This is a role that blends comedy and drama together and Kunis pulls everything off masterfully. Peter Dinkage, famous from "Game of Thrones" also makes an appearance as Altman's younger brother. This role is nothing like the role he plays on the great HBO series, but it is just as convicting.
It breaks my heart that this was one of the final movies of Williams' career, because I feel it was a brand-new outlet to his talents. "The Angriest Man In Brooklyn" is prime example of why Williams mattered so much and it breaks my heart that we will never see more of him again.