6.6/10
46,119
139 user 126 critic

Bad Words (2013)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 28 March 2014 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.

Director:

Jason Bateman

Writer:

Andrew Dodge
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Bateman ... Guy Trilby
Kathryn Hahn ... Jenny Widgeon
Rohan Chand ... Chaitanya Chopra
Philip Baker Hall ... Dr. Bowman
Allison Janney ... Dr. Bernice Deagan
Ben Falcone ... Pete Fowler
Steve Witting ... Proctor at Spelling Bee
Beth Grant ... Bedazzled Judge
Gwen Parden Gwen Parden ... Brace Faced Girl
Anjul Nigam ... Sriram Chopra
Allan Miller ... Bald Glasses Judge
Bob Stephenson ... Bill Murhoff
Patricia Belcher ... Ingrid
Matthew Zhang ... Braden Aftergood
Madison Hu ... Ling Quan
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Storyline

An adult, who has been a school dropout, finds a loophole in the regulations and participates in the largest spelling bee in the USA, The Golden Quill. His aim is to take revenge for something done to him in the past. Written by Sophia Canoni

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The end justifies the mean.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Witting plays the spelling bee proctor. He portrayed Jason Bateman's friend in "The Hogan Family". See more »

Goofs

The only accepted format in a spelling bee is for a contestant to repeat their word, spell it, and announce it again. But when Guy Trilby is called in round 2 to spell Floccinaucinihilipilification, he simply spells the word and, once told he is correct, exits the podium and returns to his seat. In fact, this happens more than once in the film. See more »

Quotes

Jenny Widgeon: I wouldn't let you near my vagina again if you gave me a million dollars!
[cut to Guy and Jenny having sex in the shower]
Jenny Widgeon: Don't look at me!
See more »

Connections

References Kojak (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Back in Five
Performed by Richard Geere (as Richard Paul Geere)
Written by Richard Geere (as Richard Paul Geere)
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
See more »

User Reviews

 
TIFF Review: Bad Words, Night Film Reviews www.nightfilmreviews.com
21 September 2013 | by lucasnochezSee all my reviews

It's very rare that I find myself lost in the narrative, characters and the comedy that I forget altogether that I am watching a movie intent on criticizing it. Jason Bateman's (Horrible Bosses, Up In the Air) directorial debut Bad Words did just that–allow me to lose myself to laugh so hard with such shocking moments that I almost forgot I had to review the film.

Bad Words is a short, sweet and unexpectedly dark comedy with instances of pure vulgarity and vileness that is at the same time, heartwarming–yes, you read that right.

For one, Bad Words was the first ever straight-up comedy I have ever experienced at TIFF. Of course, so many movies have heavy comedic instances, but I can assure you, Bad Words will have you laughing so hard, that at times, you'll find it hard to hear the next bit of dialogue (I'm warning you from experience).

The film opens with unexplained genius Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) entering himself in a regional spelling bee, with a brief flashback explaining how he has been able to register legally. From the moment the movie starts, Bateman has the audience in tears and on the floor laughing, winning the regional bee sending him off to the national bee, in hot pursuit of all the angry parents and students who he beat at the regionals. Once Bateman makes it to the super bowl of spelling bees, The Golden Quill, along with his travelling documenting reporter (Kathryn Hahn, We're The Millers), hilarity and vulgarity ensue.

The mystery behind Trilby's anger with the world, constant bitterness and his obsession with winning the bee is at the centre of the film, along with his inability to allow anyone get close enough for him to care, drive the narrative. The blend of Bateman's dark direction and stylistic choices, along with screenwriter Andrew Dodge's fiercely morbid dialogue allow for the experience to be natural and so unexpected.

I have no idea if either Bateman or Dodge were inspired at all with the work of Bobcat Goldthwait (World's Greatest Dad, God Bless America) and his darkly satirical body of work, but if I was told that was another addition to that list of black comedy, I would not doubt it. The envelope is constantly being pushed in Bad Words. Each character Trilby interacts with, whether it be for an extended period of time, or just shortly, Bateman nails each and every scene with a natural sense of arrogance. Trilby's scenes with "slumdog" (Rohan Chand), a lonely prostitute on the street, or a victimized man going to a washroom stall, are some of the best in the film.

Bateman undoubtedly has a keen eye for comedy. Rude, crude and sometimes completely uncalled for, Bad Words was a pleasant change of pace during TIFF and surely one of the most memorable comedies of the year.

Expect Bad Words in a theatre near you. And the only thing bad about it, is how much you will find yourself laughing at the most inappropriate things, da*#it!

Night Film Reviews: 7.5/10 Stars


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Words See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,301, 16 March 2014

Gross USA:

$7,779,614

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,804,337
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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