Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bad Words

Bad Words
Okay, I like being rude and stand off-ish, and this movie's main “hero” is that kind of person. Jason Bateman that hero for me. Yes, his character is doing what he doing for personal reasons and ruining it for other kids, but I like that about his character. Bad Words isn't the best (bad person) comedy in this “bad” genre. It isn't a bad movie either. It gets a little lost in the third act as it starts to lose focus a bit. However, I love that we have a movie based on an anti-hero.
Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a slacker that decides to go across the US and enter into children spelling bees and win the prizes. He has a real reason for doing this, but it isn't revealed in the first act. It is only hinted at throughout the first two acts.
While the voice-over is a little cliched, it does have a meaning in the third act. It has a funny moment at the end. I feel these independent films rely on VO narration a bit too much, but it actually has a meaning here. I do like that Bateman's character doesn't tell us or the people around him why he's doing what he's doing.
I can actually understand why the parents are pissed off this grown adult is in a children spelling bee. That's part of the fun of the movie.
Guy does some horrible things to cheat his way to the top, usually involving manipulation of the kids beside him. One scene involves Guy using ketchup on a girl, that's all I am going to say. While these scenes are very mean, it shows that the character isn't a hero and he's entered the spelling bee for personal reasons.
He's a nerd version of a bully and I love his character for it. However, he is an intelligent guy and he does know his stuff.
He also has a rather funny relationship with a female Internet journalist. Kathryn Hahn is great in that stuffy nerdy hipster way. I laughed every time they interacted, and I love a certain thing they do together.
The biggest relationship that comprises most of the movie is this little kid played by Rohan Chand. Chand's character is also in the spelling bee too. He's cute and native and we're supposed to feel that way too. Guy starts to fall for him too and they begin a friendship.
Somewhere in the third act, I think they ditch this relationship and the movie does seem to lose focus. I can't put my finger on it. It gets kind of silly.
Bateman has directed TV shows before, but this is his first feature movie. He does a workman's job, but nothing stands out, which is probably his roots in TV directing. The story works up until the third act and loses steam.
Bad Words didn't make enough money to break even. Overall, the movie is pretty funny despite some messy third act hijinks. It is still funny for a smaller movie. And, it is refreshing to see an anti-hero as the main lead and Bateman fits that bill.
Grade: C+

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