In addition to Bateman, Bad Words also features a strong supporting cast, including Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney and Philip Baker Hall. Hahn plays a frazzled, straight-shooting online reporter named Jenny Widgeon, who aids and abets Guy in qualifying for the spelling matches. Janney and Hall, meanwhile, assume the antagonistic roles of the competition's administrator Dr. Deagan and chief Dr. Bowman, respectively. Hahn in particular delivers some good laughs throughout the film, and her character Jenny is about as hard-nosed as Bateman's, which makes for an amusing grind between the two (both figuratively and literally).
Ultimately, though, Bad Words is a mostly predictable and vapid comedy, and despite its charming cast and several laugh-out-loud moments, Andrew Dodge's screenplay is pretty forgettable. You'll also see the plot twist coming from a mile away, although it does play out with good effect. Overall, Bateman's latest comedic effort is better than his last couple of movies, and it's nice to see him in a role that's a little edgier than his more commercial fare. (I'm looking at you Identity Thief.)
- +Solid performance from Bateman.
- +Good supporting cast.
- +Enjoyable story.
- –Not very original.
- –Comedy falters at times.