I’ve never been disappointed with Jason Bateman, and the trend continues after seeing Bad Words (also his directorial debut). The movie follows a foul-mouthed jerk in his 40s who finds a loophole allowing him to compete in the National Spelling Bee (yep, all of his competitors are in the 8th grade or younger). Of course parents are outraged, and there’s some fun with a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) who travels with him.
Cons: I figured out the mystery of why Guy was competing relatively early on, but it was still fun watching the movie develop. Without spoiling anything, the way the competition ends is a little too sweet and expected, but I will hand it to them for adding an additional gag I didn’t see coming. The plot was a bit by the book.
Pros: Such a wonderful script. Bateman usually plays the nice guy (or in Arrested Development, the nicest in a narcissistic group), so it was fun seeing him swear at kids. There are some great jokes, wonderful cast (Allison Janney is always fun and Philip Baker Hall has such a presence). Great find in the child actor Rohan Chand, he holds his own and I could see him being successful in years to come.
Overall: 4.25 out of 5 stars. Strong performance by Bateman and great dark humor. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but solidly entertains.
This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy viewing.