It's Jason Bateman vs. Grade-Schoolers in Bad Words

It's Jason Bateman vs. Grade-Schoolers in <I>Bad Words</I>
Jason Bateman and Rohan Chand

As you can guess, Jason Bateman's directorial debut Bad Words is filled with bad words: Bateman plays Guy Trilby, an alleged grown-up with a photographic memory and a lousy attitude who bullies his way into a national spelling bee for grade-schoolers.

As he's knocking 'em dead on the spelling-bee circuit, executing words like floccinaucinihilipilification with aplomb, he's also spraying his ill will and nasty vocabulary every which way like a surly tomcat.

No one escapes his acid verbal jet-stream: Not Allison Janney's prim-and-proper bee coordinator, nor Kathryn Hahn as the journalist who, for no clear reason, has chosen to accompany him on this bitter adventure.

Location Info


AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13‎

1998 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: West 60s

AMC Loews Village 7‎

66 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: East Village

Regal E-Walk 13

247 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: West 40s


Bad Words
Directed by Jason Bateman
Focus Features
Opens March 14, AMC Loews Lincoln Square, AMC Loews Village 7, and Regal E-Walk

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Bad Words might have been moderately enjoyable if Trilby were just a really bad guy. But there's a reason for his miserable behavior — in case you haven't guessed, this is a journey toward redemption.

Bateman, as both director and star, digs his heels in too hard to make the movie's points, using lots of ho-hum close-ups and wriggly camera work along the way.

The foul-mouthed insults that litter Andrew Dodge's screenplay aren't even that clever: At one point Trilby, who has reluctantly accepted the friendship of an adorable bee competitor of South Asian descent (played, winsomely, by Rohan Chand), asks the kid if he has a girlfriend: "You can't find one little chicken tikka to get your shrimp tandoori up in?" If that's supposed to be shocking, it isn't -- but it isn't funny, either.

Bateman seems to be looking over his shoulder to make sure we're getting the gags, but all he's come up with is a Bad Santa wannabe, with none of that movie's glorious Rabelaisian spirit. How do you spell relief?


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