There is always that part of us that just never grows up, but would you go so far as to seek a loop hole in kid’s spelling bee’s as a 40 year old, and then dominate the much younger competition? Seems a bit too much. . .
Guy Trillby (Jason Bateman) weasels his way into the Golden Quill Spelling Bee seeing as he never passed the 8th grade. With his remarkable word knowledge, Guy is able to destroy any young student that stands in his way to get to the nationals. Using child like, but clever tactics, Guy is even able to break down some of the kids all on his own. He is ruthless and out to win…at least until he makes friends with one of the competitors, a brilliantly smart indian boy.
This is a very fun movie in my opinion. Firstly, it’s a unique and intriguing plot, unlike many of todays movies. It offers viewers something worth watching. Don’t misinterpret my enthusiasm though, because it won’t force you against the back of your seat by any means, but it should hold your interest.
Let me get the downside to this out of the way first. The humor just ins’t there. It’s not in the spots you would expect to find it. If you want some peanut butter you go to the kitchen, right? Well, if this were peanut butter you may find it in your linen closet instead. This makes for a skeptical entrance into the film. In other words, if you have tried watching it before, and decided to turn it off only a few minutes in, then I would understand why. It doesn’t begin by throwing itself a parade, but rather a funeral so to speak.
Despite the errors in humor and the dry opening (now, now, we are talking about film here…shame on you), it does become a compelling story. And there is no better actor than Jason Bateman to play this role. Two reasons he is perfect for this film. Firstly, his on camera personality fits the profile of this character (Guy Trillby). He is easily able to master the role of a self centered, thoughtless, ruthless, jerk who is being unfair in the eyes of parents and communities, but he couldn’t give a crap. That has Jason Bateman written all over it! Secondly, Bateman’s comedic level matches that of this movie. Again, don’t let me misguide you here, he is a terrific actor and I enjoy his work, but he only seems to be able to produce so much funny at once. It’s as if he has a capacity that can’t be exceeded when it comes to being funny, no matter how talented he is.
I wish I could say this was a good family film because it ironically has some “family” associated characteristics. I think it could have easily been directed toward families (with the correct alterations of course), given it’s story line. Sadly though, it’s full of curse words, hateful relationships, and even shares with us (briefly) some big black boobs. So yeah…if you do have kids, just give it a ponder before pressing play.
Total Abstract Rating: 85% I liked it. You might like it. But you gotta try it first!
Thanks for reading.