Trailer: Jason Bateman’s Directorial Debut BAD WORDS

In an interview with actor Michael Cera about his time on the popular sitcom Arrested Development, Cera told how he used to have to be taken off set immediately after filming because Jason Bateman, who played his father on the show, had too foul a mouth for his young ears. It seems like Bateman is showing his true colors in his debut as a director, Bad Words.

Bad Words, which stars Bateman as protagonist Guy Trilby, is a comedy about a complete bastard with absolutely no filter. If his mouth were a car, it would need serious engine block repair. The trailer follows Trilby as he competes in a middle school spelling bee tournament, despite being in his 40s. However, his reason for doing so remains a mystery.

Throughout the trailer, Bateman’s character is seen conversing with the other children in the competition, insulting them with a mixture of slurs (calling one Indian kid ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and a chubby one ‘Heavy’) that take someone with a really brutal sense of humor to appreciate and enjoy. But his lack of filter when talking to children is nothing compared to his actions.

At one point, Guy gives a child a pair of panties, telling him to give them back to his mother. Even worse, he actually takes a child that he befriends to see a prostitute take off her shirt, thereby proving that all women do, in fact, have nipples. If this is just the trailer, one can only imagine the obscene things Bateman has in store for us.

The trailer itself, however, is well-done. It establishes the character’s personality, which will certainly account for much of the film’s humor. It presents an interesting story: a grown man who uses a loophole in the rulebook that states that all participants must never have passed the 8th grade — which apparently he hasn’t — in order to compete in a children’s spelling bee tournament. It introduces a potential love interest in the form of a reporter looking for his story. Naturally, he also befriends a fellow contestant, since the presence of a child renders every joke Bateman makes ten times worse.

Best of all, however, is the fact that the trailer doesn’t reveal why he’s participating in the competition. We understand that there is a motive, and we hear him refer to his little game as a plan, but the big reveal is left a mystery. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a trailer that leaves anything of a film’s plot a secret, so it’s refreshing to get a trailer that doesn’t spoil the entire movie.

While his reasons for participating are unknown, one must imagine that there’s a monetary prize in store for the winner that Guy may be angling for. But while I allow my low expectations to lead me to believe that his movie is just another cliché, the truth is that this film may actually surprise me. Either way, it looks like a fun ride, and Bateman’s directing debut will make this an intriguing watch.

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The Author

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and movie-geek. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son, writing about movies and beyond. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blog,