“Bad Words” – A breath of fresh politically incorrect hilarity
Written by Andrew Dodge
Directed by Jason Bateman
Starring Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohand Chand
In a time where everything is toned down, edited, and PG-13ized as to not offend the mass audiences (or their wallets), “Bad Words” is a much needed breath of fresh air. It is a film that pulls absolutely no punches, does not shy away from offending the viewer’s sensibilities, and the final product is one of the funniest films in some time. Considering the fact that it is directed by, and stars, Jason Bateman no one should be surprised by this.
The story centers on Guy Trilby (Bateman), a disgruntled alcoholic who has for some unknown reason weaseled his way into competition at a nationally televised children’s spelling bee. He has a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) following him, trying to dig enough out of him to write a story on why he is doing what he is doing. Predictably, everyone inolved in the spelling bee become furious that he has exploited a loophole in the rules, and they repeatedly try to get him out of the competition even breaking the rules themselves.
Along the way Guy meets, and begrudgingly becomes friends with a young boy (Rohand Chand) who he feels sorry for because of the boy’s distant, disapproving father. The boy, Chaitanya, is friendless and alone in a seperate hotel from his parents, being kept company only by his notebook (which he has named “Todd”). Guy takes him and shows him the fun (think alcohol, boobs, and rock and roll) side of life. The friendship between Guy and Chaitanya is very reminiscent of the old alcoholic with a soft heart and young bullied loser kid friendship in “Bad Santa”, and has drawn more than a few comparisons.
What I loved about this movie though, is it’s refusal to be anything near pc. It opens it’s arms and embraces all things (and words) offensive, and for that alone I would have given it six stars. Add in the amazing performances by Bateman and company, and you have one of my favorite comedies so far this year. The film has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, but I have noticed that most of the negative ones come from people saying it is perverse, offensive, and even racist. To those people, I say “Most great art is”. If you lack the super hero ability to withstand curse words out of the mouth of a ten year old, an alcoholic douche bag taking that ten year old under his self-destructive wing, or the kind of humor featured in movies like “Bad Santa” or “Role Models” then maybe a movie called “Bad Words” isn’t for you.