Jason Bateman! The actor, shown at right, who began that career mostly doing TV work, graduated to movies and now divides his time between them, while expanding into production and -- with his latest film BAD WORDS -- film direction, too. Because he so often plays the more-or-less straight man to the "star" (from Will Smith in Hancock, in which Bateman's character became the heart of the movie, to Melissa McCarthy in Identity Thief for whom the actor made a perfect foil, allowing the comedienne to seem all the funnier, just as Sandra Bullock did for McCarthy in The Heat), Bateman consistently keeps things real, thus allowing his co-stars to go over-the-top without toppling the particular movie (or TV show: see Arrested Development).
Hangover series. Instead those nasty laughs are also witty and pointed, even if their inappropriateness rather takes our breath away. Bateman's deft handiwork continues into the fine perfor-mances he coaxes from each cast member, including himself.
Kathryn Hahn (above and recently of Afternoon Delight), and she's a delight all over again here). Jenny and Guy match each other super-quirk for super-quirk.
Rohan Chand (above). The relationship that forms between Guy and Chaitanya is yet another surprising, funny-by-way-of-shocking development that ought to raise our eyebrows but instead keeps tickling our funny bone.
Allison Janney, Philip Baker Hall (below) and Beth Grant, as three of those above-mentioned administrators, and each does her/his thing with the usual aplomb. As indies go, Bad Words, I suspect, is going to be a boffo hit, reaching well into that coveted mainstream audience and delivering a welcome wallop -- as well as a very good time at the movies.
Focus Features -- has its theatrical debut in New York City this Friday, March 14, at the AMC Lincoln Square, AMC Village 7 and Regal's E-Walk. In Los Angeles, the film, also opening this Friday, will play the Pacific Arclight, Hollywood; The Landmark, West L.A.; and the AMC Century City. Look for a national expansion to all major cities in the weeks to come.