Bad Words Poster

The comedy film Bad Words from Aggregate Films and Darko Entertainment is now in theaters in limited release.

When Jason Bateman played David Hogan in the TV series Valerie, I would never have believed that he’d become a leading man and a talented film director.  After seeing this movie, I believe.

In Bad Words, Bateman plays 40-year-old Guy Trilby, a bully and all-around SOB.  Guy is a proofreader who who worms his way into a kids’ national spelling bee on a technicality — he never made it past eighth grade, which leaves him eligible to enter.

He does, and proceeds to take no prisoners.  Guy demolishes his much younger opponents by insulting, bullying, and undercutting them heedless of age, gender, race, and tears.

The film’s supporting actors range from competent to downright good, but it’s Bateman who carries Bad Words.  First time screenwriter Andrew Dodge turned out a script that’s merely decent, but his deriding insults are top-of-the-line, and Bateman takes them and runs with them.  Hearing such mockery and abuse coming from Bateman’s mild-mannered, everyman face ramps up the comedic factor.

Co-starring in the film are Kathryn Hahn (who’s a riot as a reporter and Guy’s reluctant lover), Philip Baker Hall and Allison Janney.  Rohan Chand is a stand-out as the 10-year-old who is Guy Trilby’s main competitor.

As a director, Jason Bateman uses just the right touch with his actors, including himself.  In a recent interview  with, he said of directing himself,  “There is a part of me that is this guy. I’ve got him where he needs to be in a cage, but I knew how to access that guy and I felt like I had a good shot at playing him in a way that was vulnerable, somewhat redemptive.”

There are bigger budget films at the box office this week, but if you need a laugh, Bad Words will fit the bill.

Watch the trailer below and tell us what you think.