Review: 6.3 out of 10 stars.
The movie was about a 40-year-old Guy (Bateman) who traveled around the country with his sidekick Jenny (Hahn) trying to win all the spelling bee competitions. And he met the Indian boy Chaitainya (Chand) who would change how he sees life.
The crude humor you have seen in the trailer was all you will see in the movie. There’s not a lot more outrageous conversations or “pricktionary” words.
That made it hard to adjust the expectations since the trailer promoted a theme of harsh and judgmental humor (what Bateman is known for in his movies), and the movie turned into a melodrama.
While trying hard, there seems to be a mismatch of emotions among the 3 main characters. Chand was a bit young to act on those mature lines. But the movie did expose what most spelling bee parents do, how they put so much pressure to have their kids to be successful.
Bateman was in his usual self being a believable jerk and Hahn was okay being his lawyer friend. The chemistry also seemed to be a bit missing.
The reason behind the competitions was an expecting and reasonable twist that did not totally throw off the audience, making the movie less melodramatic.
No after the credits.
Keywords: comedy, spellingbee, drama, moviereview
— Spoiler Ahead —
The twist of the reason why Guy was doing the whole spelling bee competition took a small step suspense. It was not hard to guess. Initially it sounded like he was trying to take some revenge on his father who’s the head of the corporation and who never looked back as soon as he found out the girlfriend was pregnant, to humiliate the prestigious Golden Quill competition by screwing the competition and added as a bonus that it was televised. But his decision to help and let Chaitainya win had partially changed how he wanted to lose. He realized his own suffering should not be the kid’s.
Guy’s ultimate letter made it more of an apology that he had crushed so many kids’ dreams. However, the plot never mentioned why his father just walked out when he found out his mother was pregnant. There’s a bit of unknown hanging since if Guy was such a genius, has the resources, and was emotional with Chaitainya, it would seem that he would have had the capacity to find ways to find out why his father did what the did. Revenge without fully understanding the situation was unsettling.