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Jason Bateman steps into the director’s chair for ‘Bad Words’

Bad Words


Jason Bateman made is mark on Hollywood at a young age, but as an adult disappeared from the spotlight. When he unexpectedly burst back on the seen with Arrested Development and then transitioned onto the big screen quickly became one of the go to guys in Hollywood. Now he is stepping behind the camera as well to direct his first feature film with Bad Words. The trailer looked pretty funny, but does it pack the comedic punch to make this rated R comedy work or was all the fun in the trailer?

Official Poster
Focus Features

Bad Words follows a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. While a reporter attempts to discover his true motivation, he finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with an awkward 10-year-old competitor who is completely unfazed by his take-no-prisoners approach to life. Bateman has made a great choice making this his first directing feature because it fits perfect for his dry comedic delivery. The film sports a decent story that seems to be a ridiculous tale, but ends up having an actual purpose. Bateman is as great as ever both behind the camera and in front of it. His chemistry with the rest of the cast is great, especially Rohan Chand who plays the young man he forms a bond with. There are plenty of inappropriate moments that push the boundaries like it should in this sort of film including a pretty funny sexy scene that isn’t too over the top but bizarre none-the-less. Chand does a great job holding up his end of the part and bounces off Bateman’s witty banter perfectly. Kathryn Hahn is a bit toned down here than normal, but still brings a great center to the insanity of Bateman’s character while still being a bit off. The film feels similar in tone to Bad Santa sporting some great adult humor, but still sneaks in a heart-warming story that manages to never take away from the laughs.

Bateman has crafted a great comedy that never goes too far into left field and in turn should appeal to a wider audience. At the same time he didn’t pull any punches, but never went too far and manages to bring it all together perfectly. The biggest appeal is Bateman himself who is all in for his role in front of and behind the camera, so if you are not a fan then you may not enjoy it, but of course if you aren’t a fan then you most likely have no sense of humor anyway. Be sure to get out there and support Bad Words so that studios will continue to make these kinds of movies. Who knows what’s next for Bateman behind the camera, but if this is any indication it is sure to be great.

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