Bad Words Review

Film_Review_Bad_Words-030c5

Jason Bateman’s directorial debut.

“Bad Words” is Jason Bateman’s feature film directorial debut.  While the movie might not be the most original comedy piece out there, it’s still a good one that will have you laughing and acknowledge Bateman’s talents as a director.

Bateman stars the film as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who found a loophole in bylaws of The Golden Quill Spelling Bee, and decides to join the competition among the children for some unknown reason.  Guy might seem crazy to you, but man, can he spell.  His determination and eccentricness have you even more curious why he is in a children’s competition.

Since the movie is directed and starred Jason Bateman, this is the stars’ perfect opportunity for his sarcastic, one-liner kind of comedy.  However, he’s not the nice good guy character he used to play.  Instead, he’s playing a complete a-hole.  He curses and he is a racist.  At the same time, he’s still likable with a problem the viewers can relate to.   This is good, as Bateman are used to playing a complete good guy, simliar to Michael Bluth from Arrested Development, so the change is just enough to see the different side of the actor.

The movie features a great cast of supporting character as well.  Kathryn Hahn plays Jenny Widgeon, an eager reporter who follows Guy’s journey and tries to understand what his deal is.  Allison Janney plays Dr. Bernice Deagan, the director of the spelling bee competition who’s goal is to have Guy kicked out of it.  The movie also features Philip Baker Hall as Dr. William Bowman, the founder of Golden Quill Spelling Bee.

While these are all great additional cast, it really is the young Rohan Chand that steals the spotlight.  Chand plays Chaitanya Chopra, a fellow contestant of the spelling bee.  At first, Guy is annoyed with the 10-year-old, but he soon gives in and takes the child on some adventures when he finds out Chaitanya has a rigid father.  We get to see some of the shenanigans they’ve done through slow motion montage, and they’re great.  However, their relationship takes a turn when Guy finds out what Chaitanya and his father is plotting.

It soon becomes obvious why Guy wants to join the competition in the first place, and the movie is pretty predictable.  The plot of the movie itself is not that special, but it’s great to see Bateman in a different kind of role once in a while.  Overall, “Bad Words” is a good film for you to watch when you have nothing to do in a Sunday afternoon, but don’t expect it to be the comedy of the year.

7.2/10

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