A high school poetry teacher and single father discovers that the thing he covets most in life may not be what makes him truly happy in this pitch-black comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, and starring Robin Williams. Lance Clayton (Williams) is a mild-mannered high school teacher from Seattle who was granted sole custody of his son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), following a nasty divorce. As hard as Lance tries to connect with his hostile, loathsome son, all he receives for his sincere efforts are insults and scorn. The only things Kyle seems to care about are violent video games and internet porn, the latter obsession eventually serving to alienate the foul-mouthed teen from his sole friend, Andrew (Evan Martin). His books rejected by publishers and his poetry class on the verge of being canceled due to student disinterest, Lance does find a bit of happiness in his relationship with pretty art instructor Claire (Alexie Gilmore), though these days her gaze is drifting toward handsome young English teacher Mike (Henry Simmons), who recently celebrated the publication of his very first piece in The New Yorker. Then, one day, Lance discovers his son dead, the apparent victim of autoerotic asphyxiation gone horribly awry. In order to give the boy some dignity in death, Lance pens a suicide note before summoning the authorities. By chance, that note is published in Kyle's school newspaper, instantly transforming him into a misunderstood cult icon among the impressionable student body. Now, tragedy has become opportunity for Lance. Can the grieving father live with the knowledge of how he achieved such fame, or has he sacrificed his own soul in his blind quest to garner the kind of fame that has eluded him his entire life?
by Jason Buchanan synopsis