There have been quite a few Jason Bateman movies. In the past ten years or so, the Teen Wolf Too star has made a real name for himself, appearing in shows and movies like Arrested Development, Juno, Hancock, Horrible Bosses, and Identity Thief. However, there’s one slight problem. He plays the same character in everything. And it’s not like he’s not a good actor. We’ve seen from Teen Wolf Too that he doesn’t necessarily need to play Laurel to Will Arnett/David Cross/Colin Farrell/Will Smith/Melissa McCarthy/Michael Cera(?)’s Hardy. But Brett Ratner, Mitch Hurwitz, Jason Reitman, Peter Berg, and Seth Gordon really prefer him that way. If only Bateman had the opportunity to make his own movie.
Enter Bad Words, the Sundance hit that had critics and audiences saying in unison, “Not bad.” The movie has a 63 on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviews ranging from 1/4 to A-. Of course, those are just the outliers. Most agree that the movie is funny and well-directed, but nothing particularly special. So, what do I have to say about this flick?
I disagree. It’s much more significant than the other Bateman movies, in that it’s Bateman’s directorial debut, he plays a character that’s not himself, and it’s an honest-to-god attempt at a great movie rather than just a comedy. I’d even go as far as to say it’s my favorite Bateman movie. It’s definitely better than Identity Thief, better than The Change-Up, better than The Switch, way better than Couples Retreat, and dare I say a little bit better than Horrible Bosses. The reason for that, once again, is that it’s not just a comedy, it’s a film. It’s interesting and it explores its characters and it deals with themes of growing up, and jealousy, and it satirizes the country’s obsession with victory and spelling bees in general. It’s about somethng, while Horrible Bosses is just something.
A few problems, though. First of all, the sex scenes are a bit drawn out and uncomfortable. Maybe that’s what he was going for, I don’t know. Second of all, the kid was not an amazing actor. He was alright, he was better than Walter from Anchorman 2, but he was pretty off at times. Oh, well. What can you expect from a child actor? One of the things that kind of annoyed me was the whole unexplained Matrix vibe the movie had. A lot of it was tinted a dull green, and Jason Bateman’s character was a normal guy who still stood out in a way and liked to wear long coats. It’s really weird because, even though green symbolizes that reality is off-kilter, reality really isn’t off-kilter at all in this movie. I liked how in the scenes that were supposed to be on public television, things were more bright and colorful, but I didn’t like how in the last scene, everything was bright and colorful. Why? Why was everything green in the first place? What is this?
What the movie perhaps most reminded me of is Portlandia, which has the same awkward humor and normal-yet-absurd vibe of Portlandia, as well as the same mostly dull color scheme. Of course, the movie balances out the awkward humor with frat boy Seth Rogen humor, but still, there are some similarities there. The movie also manages to have some very complex and interesting characters, especially the kid, and especially Jason Bateman’s character. And especially Lisa, but especially Bart.
Overall, I give the movie an A-. See it if you haven’t already. Once again, I find it interesting that I’ve yet to see a bad movie this year, and not only that, but all the movies I’ve seen this year have received A’s from me. And I’m not even trying to avoid bad ones! This could be a very good year, from the looks of it. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…
Liek dis if u cry evrytim.