Adults acting like selfish children? In today's cinematic world, this should be a surefire winner, but... In this R-rated comedy (raunchy language, giving alcohol to a child, anatomical humor, sexual situations and partial nudity) a grown man intends to compete with school children so he can win a spelling bee and get revenge for a long-held grudge.
Jason Bateman wears a director's hat for this one; he has often directed TV shows, but this seems to be his first film. I wish he had chosen a more likable character to portray. This guy seems to be in a state of...should I say it? "Arrested Development." ...smile...
Here is his cast:
- * Jason Bateman ("Identity Thief") Guy finds a loophole in the rulebook and really, really wants to win that contest! Even after we learn his motive, he remains an abrasive, self-centered loner (this character is a proof reader by trade).
- * Rohan Chand ("Lone Survivor") Chaitainya Chopra is the boy equally determined to bring home that trophy...well, his dad is.... Being bullied at school is only part of his problem.
- * Kathryn Hahn ("We're the Millers") Jenny is a reporter for the on-line publication that sponsors Guy. She is trying to discover his real motivation for this outlandish maneuver.
- * Allison Janney ("The Way Way Back") Dr. Bernice Deagan is the director of the spelling bee. She is determined to thwart our hero's attempt to win this contest.
- * Philip Baker Hall ("People Like Us") Dr Bowman originated this spelling bee and is proud that this will be it's first year on national television.
I did NOT like the dirty tricks played on other contestants, nor did I like our hero's lack of redemption, but I laughed long and hard at the most outrageous spelling bee finale I have ever seen!
YOYO (You're on your own.)