run time: 89 mins
director: Jason Bateman
starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Amanda Anka, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Steve Witting, Beth Grant, Gewn Parden, Anjul Nigam, Allan Miller, Bob Stephenson, Patricia Belcher, Matthew Zhang
movie summary: Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) is on a mission to win the prestigious National Quill Spelling Bee, only problem is he is a 40-year-old guy competing against 12-year-old kids.
In the Ohio state spelling bee rulebook the rules state that a contestant may enter the state’s spelling bee championship if they have not passed the eighth grade before 2011. Amazingly Guy was an eighth grade drop out, so on a technically he plans to enter the competition. The directors inform him that despite the ridiculous loop-hole he’s using, they are not going to let him enter. They inform him that each contestant must be sponsored by a National accredited news outlet which he doesn’t appear to have until Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn) shows up. She is writing a piece about Guy’s determination to enter the contest and the mistreatment he has faced along the way. After the directors insult him and his lack of education, he agrees to leave but warns them that the story will include their insults which will look bad for their competition. When the spelling bee finally begins, Guy easily wins and qualifies for the National championships. He has no to time to celebrate because an angry mob of parents chase him out of the school.
Jenny and Guy travel to Los Angeles for the National championships where they meet with the director, Dr. Bernice Deagan (Allison Janney) who completely disagrees with Guy being there. She thinks he is just going to embarrass himself and should he step out of line once that he’ll be kicked out of the tournament. He mocks her and tells her to shine up the trophy that he is focused on winning and he’s not there to play games. She informs him that the spelling bee committee organizes the hotel rooms and that he has been given some very unfavourable conditions. When the pair get to the hotel Guy is given a key to room 207 which is the janitors room. After a brief argument with the front desk clerk he heads off to get hammered the night before the next day’s competition.
Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand) is a 12-year-old kid who came in second place at last year’s Nationals but his father has put a lot of pressure on him to win it all this year. He meets Guy in the hall way and asks him if they could be friends, Guy respond that he’s got better things to do before realizing that Chaitanya has a mini bar in his room so decides to stay there for the night. The next day the pair get on the chartered bus and head to the competition where Guy pulls a trick out of his back pocket to mess with one kid’s mind to misspell his word. Dr. Deagan has a few tricks up her shelve also and picks a really tough word that Guy easily spells to make it to the second round. Parents line up outside her door to protest Guy being in the contest before she guarantees that he won’t make it past the second round. The next day she cheats the system and chooses two really long words that are difficult to spell, but Guy is onto to her and manages to sneak past the roadblocks into the semi-finals.
Guy and Chaitanya decide to hang out together the night before the semi-finals. Chaitanya has no friends besides his spelling binder named Todd, so Guy agrees to treat him to the night of his life. After their dinner plans get interrupted by a snobby parent, they hit the strip to cause all kinds of mischief. By the end of the night Guy has provided Chaitanya with memories that will last a lifetime, showing him things that his father has never taken the time to do. The two become best friends but agree they both want to win so they will still be enemies on the stage. The next day Guy manages to distract another kid so bad that she didn’t even go up to spell her word which leaves one less contestant to reach his goal. By the end of the day the kids are dwindling down with Guy and Chaitanya left still competing.
When they return to the hotel Chaitanya’s dad finally stops by to check in on his son only to find out that he hasn’t been practicing but hanging around with Guy. He forbids his son from hanging out with such a loser which Chaitanya reluctantly agrees to do. Guy overhears all this and flips on both Chaitanya and his dad. He spends the rest of the night planning an attack on Chaitanya to destroy all his study materials in preparation for the finals. In the morning Chaitanya returns the favor by getting Guy arrested. They both arrive at the competition with their game faces on and their friendship all but over. Guy is only a few words away from achieving his dream but his new/ex best friend may be the only thing in his way.
my thoughts: I was pretty pumped when the trailer for this movie came out for two reasons, one was it looked hilarious and two because Jason Bateman does great comedy movies. The theatre was almost sold out on Tuesday night when I went and not a single person appeared disappointed. Bad Words will be one of the funniest comedies of the year, if not the funniest. This movie reminds me of Ted with its profanity and sexual humour which Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, and Chaitanya Chopra pull it off flawlessly. There was a couple of scenes I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard, and numerous other times people around me were laughing just as loud. Movies like this are rare and only come around every so often, and despite it’s rather really stupid story and bad moral of the story ending, this will be a gem when you need a good laugh.
I’m recommending anyone who is having a bad day and needs to be cheered up go see Bad Words, it is more than worth the price of admission. My warning is don’t stuff your face with popcorn or a pop because you never know when the next silly thing will happen and you spit it back up on someone else’s lap.
my star rating: 8 out 10
imdb.com: 7.1 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 64% out 100%
metascore: 56 out 100