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Trailer contains adult language! Viewer discretion is advised:
Jason Bateman thrives at nice-guy roles, which may be why his insults, swearing and racial slurs land just a little bit harder than they would have if they were coming from, say, Billy Bob Thornton. Or maybe I’m just having a Bad Santa flashback here. As the Red Band Trailer for Bad Words reveals, this is a story about a guy who found a loophole into the competitive world of children’s spelling bees, enraging teachers, parents, children and spelling bee enthusiasts in the process. Being a grown-up in a spelling bee is bad enough, but all evidence points to Bateman’s Guy Trilby having a severe lack of verbal filter, which doesn’t exactly make him fit to be around children.
The trailer comes to us via Yahoo and reveals the bond that forms between Guy and the adorably awkward Chaitanya (Homeland’s Rohan Chand), who evidently has a thing for breasts. Or breasts with nipples, if we’re getting specific. And Guy’s apparently willing to expose this child to his heart’s desire. You would think that might make up for his racial slurs, but an encounter with a prostitute and doing donuts in a parking lot probably aren’t age-appropriate means of making amends in this case. Then again, the fact that Guy has forced his way into a national spelling bee indicates that being age appropriate — or any kind of appropriate, for that matter — isn’t really his concern.
What is his concern? The trailer seems to dance around that issue, but we know it ties in with Kathryn Hahn’s character, a reporter following the story and trying to get to the bottom of Guy’s motives. Is this all some attempt to reclaim some glory he lost as a child? Or is there more to the story than that? And why has he paired up with a competitor?
Written by Andrew Dodge and directed by Jason Bateman, Bad Words arrives in theaters in all its potty-mouth glory on March 2014. Focus Features picked up the film at TIFF this year. In addition to Bateman, Hahn and Rohan Chand, the cast also includes Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone and one of my favorite character actors, Beth Grant. Jason Bateman isn’t new to directing, but this would be a jump to features for the actor, as his pre-Bad Words directing credits are all for television, including an episode of Arrested Development and a few episodes of Valerie, one of the TV shows that put him on the map in the earlier years of his career.