Bad Words (2013) Poster

Bad Words (2013)

  • Rate: 7.7/10 total 582 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 28 March 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 88 min
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Bad Words (2013)


Bad Words 2013tt2170299.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Bad Words (2013)
  • Rate: 7.7/10 total 582 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 28 March 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 88 min
  • Director: Jason Bateman
  • Stars: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney | See full cast and crew »
  • Original Music By: Rolfe Kent   
  • Soundtrack: Sweet Titties
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Spelling Bee | Spelling | Children | Forty Something | Competition

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Andrew Dodge  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Plot: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult. |  »

    Story: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.


    Synopsis: An angry man on a mission, GUY DUNCAN exploits a loophole in the rules and joins the ranks of a national spelling bee, competing against pre-teen contestants and quickly making himself notorious with his bad language and behavior. Ambitious journalist JENNY WIDGEON is covering Guy’s chimerical cause, but can’t quite break through his wall of defensiveness and rage — not yet. But Guy lets down his guard for charming fellow competitor, 12 year old CHAITANYA CHOPRA, who just may have a hidden agenda for befriending Guy…


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Jason Bateman known as producer
    • Jeff Culotta known as producer
    • Darren M. Demetre known as executive producer
    • Ted Hamm known as producer
    • Michelle Knudsen known as co-producer
    • Sean McKittrick known as producer
    • Mason Novick known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Jason Bateman known as Guy Trilby
    • Kathryn Hahn known as Jenny Widgeon
    • Amanda Anka known as National Public Television Narrator
    • Rohan Chand known as Chaitanya Chopra
    • Philip Baker Hall known as Dr. Bowman
    • Allison Janney known as Dr. Bernice Deagan
    • Ben Falcone known as Pete Fowler
    • Steve Witting known as Proctor at Spelling Bee
    • Beth Grant known as Bedazzled Judge
    • Gwen Parden known as Brace-Faced Girl
    • Anjul Nigam known as Sriram Chopra
    • Allan Miller known as Bald Glasses Judge
    • Bob Stephenson known as Bill Murhoff
    • Patricia Belcher known as Ingrid
    • Matthew Zhang known as Braden Aftergood
    • Madison Hu known as Ling Quan
    • Michael Patrick McGill known as Beet-Red Father
    • Judith Hoag known as Petal Dubois
    • Rachael Harris known as Eric Tai's Mother
    • Mychael Bates known as Lobster Man
    • Greg Cromer known as Jeremy 'FBI Agent'
    • Kimleigh Smith known as Marzipan
    • Ethan Dizon known as Ricky Irvine
    • Emily Sarah Carlson known as Joyce Sacks
    • Jacquie Barnbrook known as Joyce Saks' Mom
    • Mak Kriksciun known as Mickey Carlson
    • Sonia Nam known as Jayleen Song
    • Lucky Davis known as Leonard Feldman
    • Terry Shusta known as Cop #1
    • Connor Kalopsis known as Eric Tai
    • Tanner Goad known as Kid #1 on Bike
    • William Maltz known as Chip
    • Gregory Sutton known as Irate Driver
    • Cassandra M. Bellantoni known as Parent at Spelling Bee (uncredited)
    • Lee Christian known as Parent (uncredited)
    • Christopher Clausi known as Spellingbee parent (uncredited)
    • Cathy Fielding known as Angry Parent (uncredited)
    • Rachel Ann Jackson known as Extra (uncredited)
    • Linda Jossana known as Parent at Spelling Bee (uncredited)
    • Janine King known as Parent at Spelling Bee (uncredited)
    • Dean Mason known as Spelling Bee Dad (uncredited)
    • Sumiko Muto known as Judge (uncredited)
    • Alexia Pearl known as Spelling Bee Spectator (uncredited)
    • Isabella Taylor Poschl known as Quill Contestant (uncredited)
    • Casey Robinson known as Parent (uncredited)
    • Iris Rodriguez known as (uncredited)
    • Frank Scozzari known as Press Photographer (uncredited)
    • Christian Storm known as Spelling Bee Audience Member (uncredited)
    • Derek Jon Talsma known as Spelling Bee Contesntant (uncredited)
    • Rachel Taylor known as Spelling Bee Spectator (uncredited)
    • Abigail Wake known as Spelling Bee Mom (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Bonni Flowers known as key makeup artist
    • Kimberly Greene known as makeup department head
    • Laurel Kelly known as hair department head
    • Jose Zamora known as key hair stylist
    • Karen Zanki known as hair stylist

    Art Department:

    • Mychael Bates known as property master
    • Tammie Childress known as on-set dresser
    • Juliane Crump known as graphic designer
    • Morgan Gillio known as set dresser
    • Karen Higgins known as construction coordinator
    • Cindy Ichikawa known as art department coordinator
    • Deirdre Jernigan known as art department production assistant
    • Aaron G. Rodriguez known as stand by painter
    • Josh Sheppard known as storyboard artist
    • Brandon Smith known as art department production assistant
    • Jason Vanover known as key greensman




    Production Companies:

    • Aggregate Films
    • Darko Entertainment

    Other Companies:

    • Air Hollywood  airplane mock-up
    • Big Crowds  crowd casting
    • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera cranes
    • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies (uncredited)
    • Gradient Effects  VFX
    • Movie Movers  cast trailers
    • Movie Movers  hair and makeup trailer
    • Movie Movers  star trailers
    • Panavision Hollywood  camera equipment provided by
    • Pivotal Post  Avid HD Editing Equipment Provided By
    • Stone Management  product placement
    • Wildfire Studios  sound post-production


    • E1 Films Canada (2014) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • Focus Features (2014) (USA) (theatrical)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Comen VFX
    • Comen VFX (motion graphics)
    • Gradient Effects

    Visual Effects by:

    • Jose A. Alfonzo known as graphic artist: Comen VFX
    • Kenneth Armstrong known as graphic designer: Comen VFX
    • Tim Carras known as visual effects supervisor: Comen VFX
    • Joshua D. Comen known as visual effects producer: Comen VFX
    • Jonathan Cronk known as operations manager: Comen VFX
    • Angela Pascal known as production assistant: Comen VFX
    • Aaron Peak known as colorist
    • Prasanna Siddharthan known as lead compositor: Gradient Effects
    • Thomas Tannenberger known as visual effects supervisor: Gradient Effects
    • Chris W. Tucker known as visual effects coordinator

    MPAA: Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and brief nudity



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 17, 2014 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


    1. lucasnochez from Canada
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

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

      Bad Words is a short, sweet and unexpectedly dark comedy with instancesof 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 everexperienced at TIFF. Of course, so many movies have heavy comedicinstances, but I can assure you, Bad Words will have you laughing sohard, that at times, you'll find it hard to hear the next bit ofdialogue (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 flashbackexplaining how he has been able to register legally. From the momentthe movie starts, Bateman has the audience in tears and on the floorlaughing, 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 theregionals. 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 bitternessand 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 tocare, drive the narrative. The blend of Bateman's dark direction andstylistic choices, along with screenwriter Andrew Dodge's fiercelymorbid dialogue allow for the experience to be natural and sounexpected.

      I have no idea if either Bateman or Dodge were inspired at all with thework of Bobcat Goldthwait (World's Greatest Dad, God Bless America) andhis darkly satirical body of work, but if I was told that was anotheraddition to that list of black comedy, I would not doubt it. Theenvelope is constantly being pushed in Bad Words. Each character Trilbyinteracts with, whether it be for an extended period of time, or justshortly, Bateman nails each and every scene with a natural sense ofarrogance. Trilby's scenes with "slumdog" (Rohan Chand), a lonelyprostitute on the street, or a victimized man going to a washroomstall, are some of the best in the film.

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

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

      Night Film Reviews: 7.5/10 Stars

    2. screensquatter from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      The storyline allowed for a lot of funny moments and the moviedefinitely ran with it. It was hilarious and didn't stray from the plotto include any unneeded jokes (this is what draws me away from mostcomedies). The child, Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), was innocent and cuteenough to provide a nice contrast to the unscrupulous Guy (JasonBateman). With some heartwarming moments, this movie is more than justa rude comedy. The comedy is raunchy and vulgar though so it definitelytakes a certain sense of humor to enjoy (sad to say that it is minelol). Also, a little predictable, but that doesn't take away from themovie too much.

    3. ( from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      Out of the gate, Jason Bateman's Guy Trilby cracks up the audience withhis offensive humor and irreverent attitude toward everyone andeverything around him (even his sole ally, reporter Jenny Widgeon(Kathryn Hahn), who capably plays a role likely too small by intention,allowing Trilby freedom to run amok). It isn't until much later that welearn his motivations, but they are largely irrelevant and contributelittle to the value of this film.

      Bateman has proved before that his career renaissance, so to speak, isnot strictly married to the "nice guy" we met in Arrested Developmentand revisited in Horrible Bosses; he has shown us in a variety of rolesthat he can play a bona fide jerk (see for examples his pleasantlyunexpected appearance and performance in State of Play). But here, hetakes this over the top. His rhetoric is rarely, if ever, appropriateto the given situation. Nearly every other character is adversarial,giving Trilby plenty of opportunity to offend and delight us.

      Even Trilby's sole attempt at magnanimity comes only when he feels hehas accomplished his vindictive end, and in itself turns into araucous, belligerent spectacle as he attempts to throw the spelling beeand allow his tenuous junior friend to win, while the boy wants thehonor on his own well-earned merits.

      Despite his crass approach to everyone and everything around him,Bateman's Trilby is someone you can't help but like; this is certainlyin no small part due to Bateman's overall likability as a person and anactor. You don't root for him, per se, but you certainly enjoy him. Hewas perfectly cast. Past roles hinted at this side of his acting chops,but here he takes you by complete surprise.

      See this film; you'll enjoy that surprise and the ride – it is non-stopand well worth the price of a movie ticket. Fast-paced, witty,offensive. If you enjoyed Seth MacFarlane's Ted, you'll love Bad Words.

    4. The_After_Movie_Diner from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      Jason Bateman makes his directorial debut with this R Rated indiecomedy that sees him attempting to drop his Mr.Put-Upon-Nice-Guypersona while starring in a film that doesn't exactly work without it.Bateman plays Guy Trilby a foul mouthed, negative, man-child with asavant way with words who has, through a loop-hole and with the supportof reporter Kathryn Hahn, entered the Golden Quill spelling bee much tothe chagrin of it's organisers Allison Janney and Philip Baker Hall andthe parents of the children, the other participants.

      The film is a short, well acted and competently directed, verbal, indiecomedy. The humour is, at times, very rude, crude but pleasinglyinventive and Bateman, especially, seems to be relishing the role. Goodthing too as he holds the whole thing together. Which is more than canbe said for the script. The tagline to the film is 'the end justifiesthe mean' and the fact of the matter is, it really doesn't. Whether youfind spelling competitions important or not, nothing really justifiesthe cruelty Guy Trilby unleashes on, not only, the people directlyinvolved in the competition but just general people in the world, funnythough a lot of it is. His personal vendetta effects way more peoplethan the actual, solitary focus of it and I guess it's just down toBateman's like-ability as an actor, the genuinely funny dialogue andthe fact that we are stuck following him for the whole movie that keepsus, the audience, dubiously 'on his side'.

      There is a sub-plot about his befriending a child, a fellow contestant,and 'tearing up' the town with him in the evenings which, I suppose, isintended to endear him to us a little and play to the rebel in all ofus but some of the things they do, including causing a stolen lobsterto lacerate a man's genitals, seem a tad cruel for no reason, as well.

      Now before you think I am taking this all too seriously, let meexplain. The film IS funny. Taken on face value, if you find vicious,dark, crude humour for the sake of it funny, then you are going to loveit and there was much about it I did enjoy. Films, however, whetherpeople like it or not, have to have characters, plots and motivationsthat make relative sense within their presented frame work and while"it's just a comedy" may excuse a lot of illogical or unforgivablycruel behaviour, the fact that the film, ultimately, asks us to give ahoot about this selfish, arrogant arse hole of a man means that we haveto, at least, buy into the story and care a little, when it doesn'tgive us a lot of satisfactory reasons to. Had he participated in thecontest without cheating and eliminating some of his opponents inhumiliating ways or had he befriended the kid, torn round the town butnot hurt a man's penis with a large clawed sea creature then hischaracter might have been a little more redeemable, while being no lessfunny.

      There are echoes of Wes Anderson in the characters and the plot,especially Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums without, of course, itbeing anywhere nearly as charmingly presented or stylish.

      A worthy debut, though, for Bateman as a director and interesting tosee the R Rated comedy given the mumble core indie treatment.

    5. F Davis from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      A previous reviewer addressed the racism of this film. It's alsomisogynistic. E.g. the "hero" verbally attacks a female character bydescribing her vagina in really degrading terms. In another scene heattacks the head of the spelling bee by implying that she is a lesbianand asking her who uses the strap-on. Ugh.. I like Jason Bateman and Ilike Arrested Development. I even enjoy scatological humor as in Haroldand Kumar Go to White Castle. But this just didn't work. Unpleasantcharacters can also make for an interesting movie but there just wasn'tany point to the meanness, especially when the movie then attempted togo for a saccharine redemptive ending.

    6. leidenhoven from Los Angeles, CA
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      This is a film for sociopath child abusers. While it will not evoke anylaughs except from the morally depraved, it will titillate those whoenjoy watching adolescents being sexually corrupted, vilely humiliated,and otherwise abused by an adult. While the main character's immaturitycould be the source of true humor, none is found in this film of anadult competing in a children's spelling bee. What is witnesses isscene after scene of failed attempts to make light of cruel jokesplayed upon prepubescent children. If this film were simply dumb itwouldn't be so offensive. For those who enjoy reading newspaperaccounts of young children being abused by teachers, this is their kindof film. Grotesque.

    7. LilyJayne from Massachusetts
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      I saw this at TIFF and I laughed and laughed and laughed. In fact, I'vebeen laughing since September so I thought I better write this review.I keep thinking about how funny this is. This is a very funny movie.Jason Bateman couldn't have been funnier. My face is still hurting,thinking of watching him. Everybody else in the movie was funny too,but Bateman stole the show. We're talking one funny guy. If you feellike laughing, peeing and crying, go see this movie. It is such a funnymovie. Your tummy will probably hurt as well as your face. Now I knowwhat side-splitting means. This is a very funny movie. Very, veryfunny. This is a very funny movie. I mean very funny.

    8. Chance Marsteller from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      Let's be honest. There are a few scenes in this film in whichundeniably racist behavior is played for laughs. I don't think peopleought to brush this off as being "outrageous" in a charming sense. Forthose who disagree, replace the Indian child with an African-Americanchild, and re-imagine the scene using the n-word instead of "slumdog".Still laughing? I'm genuinely curious, since many reviewers don't seemto mind similar comments directed at an Indian. In this sense, I thinkthe movie is pandering to some ugly impulses in society that have onlyintensified since 9/11. The racist jabs aren't shocking at all; they'recommonplace.

      Let's take an example of a great film that is undeniably racist: "Birthof a Nation". What made that movie great? Part of it is the historicalvalue of the film – it is a valuable document of American racism, and areflection of popular attitudes about the Civil War. It contains somegood performances and some great technical achievements (the battlescenes, for instance). Audiences of the time weren't comfortable withblack actors, so D.W. Griffith employed white actors in black makeup.The use of black makeup wasn't intended to fool the audience – just theopposite. He was pandering to them.

      I was thinking of this after watching Bad Words. Bad Words is not greatthough; it's a fairly typical entry in a slew of movies attempting towalk the fine line that Bad Santa negotiated more successfully. BadWords seems clumsy and desperate in comparison to that film. Batemanand Dodge are grasping for laughs in a sub genre where a deft hand isrequired. I don't think Bateman is racist. But Bad Words is a racistfilm, and I don't think he should dismiss criticism that says so.

      D.W. Griffith, stung by criticism that he'd made a racist film,followed up "Birth of a Nation" with "Intolerance", one of the greatfilms of the silent era.

    9. Alex Jefferson from United States
      17 Mar 2014, 5:00 pm

      This film wants to be outrageous, and it is – but in a way that iscasually racist and clueless. Someone tell me how it is okay forBateman's character to refer to an Indian child as "slumdog". This isplayed for laughs. He tells the child to "shut your curry hole" andmakes jokes about the child being a terrorist. This sort of casualracism would be rejected out of hand if it were directed at anotherethnic group. In a disingenuous attempt to paste over the racist gagsearlier in the film, the film makers have Bateman's character laterbefriend the boy, establishing a phony message of tolerance. WriterAndrew Dodge deserves notoriety for this, and Jason Bateman has someexplaining to do, considering he's the star, director and co-producerof the film. I have no doubt that some viewers will choose to overlookand even enjoy racist humor, but they'd be hard pressed to argue thatit's not racist (er, "completely uncalled for"). I say this as someonewho enjoys raunchy humor. Everything gets good reviews at festivals.

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