Bad Words

Rated: R

        I’d like to tell you about the dark comedy Bad Words. I guess it was over a year ago now (March 10, 2014 to be exact) when I saw Jason Bateman on the Today Show talking about his new movie Bad Words. He seemed very humble in talking to Savannah Guthrie about this film, which just so happens to be his directorial debut. Of directing for the first time he said “I’ve wanted to direct for a long time and it was a dream to finally be able to do so. It’s (a) very complicated, involved process to create a fake world for an audience and I just wanted the privilege of overseeing that process.” Since I’ve enjoyed quite a few of Bateman’s other movies and because this was his directing debut, not to mention that I seem to love dark comedies, I added it to “the list”.
Bad Words is the story of 40 year old Guy Trilby, a corrosive and mean-spirited, yet childish man who, through a loophole, enters himself in the Golden Quill Spelling Bee for 8th graders, much to the chagrin of the parents and judges.
        This movie, despite being about spelling bees and having a cast almost entirely made up of children, is
not for children. In fact, if anyone let their children (younger than we’ll say 16 or so) watch this movie they’d be considered bad parents for sure. This movie is for adults, but I don’t think just any adults would enjoy it. For this one you need a special sense of humor; a sense of humor that can take jokes about women, children and race without getting overly offended; a sense of humor that doesn’t mind laughing at the misfortune of others. Guy Trilby (the main character) is the type of guy that if you knew him in real life you’d hate and want to punch, but from a distance he’s utterly hilarious!
        And yet,
Bad Words isn’t all bad. I would say that Jason Bateman’s directorial debut was a total success. Although he didn’t want to play the lead role so that he could focus on directing, he did so in such a seamless manner that I’m not sure anyone else could’ve pulled off so beautifully.  There’s a hidden deepness to this movie that, if it were missing, would make this just another pointless comedy. Instead, by the end of the movie you feel a little twinge in your heart for Guy Trilby and you begin to wonder if you’d go through the same great lengths to achieve your goals. Who knows…perhaps there’s a little bit of Guy Trilby in all of us!

Bad Words is rated R, was directed by Jason Bateman and stars Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohand Chand. It’s available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.