I sure wish the movie Bad Words was a lot funnier.
It wasn’t horrible. In fact, it was eminently watchable, this story of an obnoxious 40-year-old no-goodnik out to prove himself on the children’s spelling-bee circuit. But it felt like a lot of humor was either left on the cutting-room floor or forgotten. The movie tried so hard to be outrageous that it lost out on a lot of laughs.
Director and star Jason Bateman steered the flick with more assuredness than I expected, and the cinematography had an interesting washed-out quality. Still, there was something unsatisfying about this picture, as if it was attempting to be two things at once: a broad comedy and a sensitive drama delving into the protagonist’s background.
I think the film took some easy routes. It’s hard to be funny. Perhaps the thought process was that the wackiness of the plot would generate laughs on its own. It didn’t, though. So in that regard, the movie misfired.
Oh, well. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I’m sure Bateman will try for more success with other projects. Bad Words is definitely one to learn from.