In any type of competition, there are always different back stories and components that people never think of. This even goes for a national spelling bee. In the movie “Bad Words,” many of these things are shown and exaggerated.
This movie centers on Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), a 40-year-old without a high school diploma who finds a loophole in a spelling bee and decides to try to win as an adult. Obviously, Guy’s actions cause a great deal of uproar and anger amongst parents, contestants and the competition’s administration. Each of these frustrations and outbursts ultimately cause different outrageous happenings and backlashes against Guy and other people involved.
Alongside Bateman, who made his directorial debut with this film, “Bad Words” has a pretty talented cast, which includes Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall and Allison Janney. Each of these actors brings a certain element to the film that gives it an interesting and often pretty funny flair.
While the cast of “Bad Words” is quite impressive, the writing of it is not. The plotline of the film lacked a certain relatable and believable quality that is very important for a film to have. The script and dialogue of “Bad Words” also lacked any originality and strong humor. Although there were particular lines and actions that were pretty funny, for the most part, the punchlines fell flat.
Also, as the film progressed, it became more and more predictable. There were absolutely no surprises in this film, which also took away some entertaining qualities from it. As I was watching “Bad Words,” I felt as if I had already seen it before. Much of the storyline — and even dialogue — seemed like it came from other similar films, which just added to its unoriginality.
While I am a big Jason Bateman fan, “Bad Words” was a letdown for me. This is definitely a film that looks a lot better as a trailer than it actually is. Although the cast was pretty good in this movie, its unoriginality and lackluster punchlines ultimately make it a film that may not be worth going to see.