After starring in a surprise box-office hit in Identity Thief alongside Melissa McCarthy, followed by the Arrested Development Netflix revival of the dysfunctional Bluth family, few would disagree that Jason Bateman has had a pretty good year. Who wouldn’t want to become the President of a financially strapped company built on nepotism and laziness that builds homes for Saddam Hussein. Not too shabby. Wait, Saddam is dead? News to me.
Like many actors, Bateman has decided to try his hand at film from the other side of the camera, and his directorial debut, Bad Words, releases in theaters nationwide today.
The film centers on a 40-year old, less wealthy, more vulgar, and vastly more intelligent version of Billy Madison, who has made it this far in life without passing out of the 8th-grade somehow. This loophole allows Bateman’s character Guy Trilby to compete in the regional spelling bee against preteens, tweens, whatever CNN is calling them these days, thus exacting his imagined revenge upon those who defeated and wronged him in his youth (assumedly?)
Along the way, Trilby makes one young friend, Chaitanya Chopra, and many, many enemies, in his borderline sociopathic climb to the top of the spelling bee world.
Bateman being Bateman. Expect a LOT of this (NSFW obviously).
In what looks to be a dark, satirical comedy in the vein of comedy heroes such as Simon Pegg, Bateman’s directorial debut looks promising, and perfectly suits the Bateman I know and love offscreen, as opposed to the soft and squishy Michael Bluth character on it.
I anticipate a completely vile, over the top, subversive film that pushes the envelope sometimes just for the sake of doing it. Sometimes that’s alright by me, being politically incorrect just because you can.
It is a vulgar comedy about social misfits at a spelling bee, and somehow, it is not directed by Judd Apatow. It’s so Freaks and Geeks!!! Of course I enjoy Judd Apatow, but it’s nice to see something else in the comedy game every now and again.
Ruthless competition, so much child abuse, foul language, and racism, and of course, teaching innocent children to objectify women–what’s not to love? I hope does blog post not come up in a job interview someday…
While I try to avoid reviews prior to seeing a film for myself, the reception of this film has been rather scattered, both with critical and fan audiences alike, but I’m all for giving this one a chance.
While I don’t see it being particularly competitive on a weekend up against March Madness, it will certainly attract a different kind of viewer than those heading out to see Noah and Divergent… aka ME.
It expands to over 800 theaters, but hasn’t done well in limited release, and according to Box Office Mojo, isn’t anticipated to make over $4 million on the weekend. Whatever. There’s always money in the banana stand.
Hope to see you there fellow deviants, misanthropes, felons, pageant winners–we’re one and the same.
Tags: Arrested Development Bad Words Billy Madison Box Office Box Office Divergent Featured Film Identity Thief Jason Bateman Melissa McCarthy Michael Bluth Netflix New Release Noah Popular Theater Wide Release