“A Joy to Watch”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Bad Words Movie PosterBAD WORDS is an edgy comedy starring Jason Bateman as Guy Trilby, a man who is competing in the national Spelling Bee competition even though he is 40 years old.

Bateman also directed this movie, which has been called an “instant hit.”

You see, Guy discovered a loophole in the rules which allows him to compete against youngsters and be able to spell obscure words correctly, which doesn’t please the directors of the competition, much less the parents of the other kids on whom the parents have spent money for tutors.

At the beginning of the movie, Guy says, “I’m not that good at a lot of stuff,” but his job as a proofreader allows him to be good at spelling a lot of words.

So, we see Guy compete at the 15th annual regional Spelling Bee in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, where he shows that he has no remorse in intimidating fellow competitors to get them too flustered to even stand up and try to spell the next word.

One of the rules is that contestants have to be sponsored by a nationally recognized news service, and Guy’s sponsor is an Internet organization whose writer, Jenny Widgeon, is accompanying Guy in order to write a story about him.

However, Guy is very reticent with Jenny, and he won’t talk about himself, which causes Jenny to call in some favors and get a background check on him, which reveals some interesting information.

So, Guy and Jenny move on to the national competition in California, where his reputation has preceded him, and the director, Dr. Bernice Deagan, played by Allison Janey, tries to thwart Guy in every way she can.

She arranges for Guy’s hotel accommodation to be a supply closet, and even though the words given to the competitors are supposed to be random and fair, she manages to secretly circumvent that and tells the angry parents and her subordinates that she will step down as director if Guy makes it to the final round.

Meanwhile, Guy has taken an interest in an Indian boy in the competition, mainly because the kid has a hotel room with a minibar, the kid is eager to become friends with Guy, maybe too eager, and Guy teaches the kid some lessons about life.

BAD WORDS is a joy to watch.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”