I Love My Dad Trailer: Patton Oswalt Takes The Cringe To The Max In This Discomforting Comedy

Patton Oswalt has delivered plenty of laughs over the years, whether it's on stand-up comedy stages or in memorable supporting roles in "Parks and Recreation," "Veep," and "King of Queens." But every now and then Oswalt gets the chance to shine on the big screen in films like "Young Adult" and "Big Fan," not to mention his pitch-perfect voice performance in "Ratatouille." However, you've never seen Oswalt quite so hilariously desperate and misguided as he is in the new comedy "I Love My Dad."

Based on the apparently true story of writer, director, and star James Morosini, the film follows Oswalt as Chuck, an estranged, unreliable father who is desperate to maintain some kind of connection to his depressed and mentally rattled son Franklin (played by Morosini). In an effort to create some healthy distance from his pitiful patriarch, Franklin blocks his father's phone number and social media accounts. Of course, the best solution to this problem for Chuck is to create a catfish social media profile as a pretty, young girl (personified by Claudia Sulewski) who strikes up a relationship with his son. Needless to say, things get extremely out of hand.

Watch the I Love My Dad trailer

Were you ready for the end of that trailer? That's not even the most cringeworthy moment in this whole affair. Patton Oswalt could not be better as he keeps making major missteps in this ill-advised plan to reconnect with his son. Few actors would be able to pull off such a cringeworthy performance and still feel redeemable, but Oswalt is so endearing that even the most twisted lies and scenarios don't make him completely unappealing. In my review from SXSW earlier this year, I wrote that if you can handle the cringe factor, "You'll be treated to an absolutely perfect performance from Patton Oswalt, who brings surprising sweetness to this father manufacturing a heinously despicable lie. His desperation makes you feel a sense of pity for him, even as he spirals towards the point of no return."

"I Love My Dad" also has a great supporting cast with Amy Landecker, Rachel Dratch, and Lil Rey Howery rounding out the ensemble. But Morosini deserves a round of applause, not just for enduring what must have been quite a traumatic experience, but figuring out a way to tell his story in a dark comedy that pulls off an incredible balancing act with plenty of heart and humor.

Here's the official synopsis for "I Love My Dad" from Magnolia Pictures:

Inspired by writer, director, and star James Morosini's true life experience, "I Love My Dad" follows Chuck (Patton Oswalt), a hopelessly estranged father who desperately wants to reconnect with his troubled son, Franklin (Morosini). Blocked on social media and concerned for his son's life, Chuck impersonates a waitress online and starts checking in with Franklin. But things begin to spiral when Franklin falls for this imaginary girl (Claudia Sulewski) and wants nothing more than to meet her in person, as Chuck has inadvertently catfished his own son.

"I Love My Dad" arrives in theaters on August 5, 2022, and follows on VOD starting on August 12.