Town Times Requester



Stay Connected

‘Bad Words’ and ‘Divergent’ leads try to find a place in this world


Jason Bateman does bad so good. In his directorial debut for Bad Words, the Arrested Development star plays middle aged Guy Trilby with a chip on his shoulder, a chip so big it threatens to squash the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee. Thanks to a loophole that contestants must not have graduated 8th grade by a certain date (and nope, he didn’t), he is eligible to participate in the tournament. Why a grown man would want to compete against the likes of sweet, if gullible, children and their controlling parents, you will have to watch and see. But Bad Words is definitely one to see.

Bateman brings us on a journey. His snarky wise-cracking foul-mouthed character will make you smirk even if behind his childish behavior lurks some very adult issues. What makes the film special is that it does not pander to conventions of the buddy comedy. Yes, Guy makes “friends” with a 9-year- old contest (playful chemistry). Yes, he has a “relationship” with a woman (quirky dynamics). But Bad Words never changes the true heart of Guy. Like any “guy”, no one can be changed in a few days (or sometimes at all), even if they learn something important about themselves in the process.

Bad Words is great film-making as it sticks with its dark humor and rapid fire pacing. The length of the film is perfect for the material and even if you figure out the twist before the end, you leave the theater feeling satisfied. A great first at bat for Bateman.

Much like Guy Trilby was trying to find his place in the world, Divergent’s Tris (Shailene Woodley) must find hers. Only hers is a futuristic dystopia divided into five factions after a war, each faction performing specific jobs for this new society. At a certain age, teenagers must take a test that places them in one of the five factions. You are divergent if your test shows that you could belong to more than one group. Afraid of free-thinkers, those in high power see divergents as a threat and attempt to eliminate them. Could you be placed in one group for the rest of your life?

Wouldn’t you know it — Tris is divergent. That is no surprise as it is the whole premise of the film, based on the young adult series by author Veronica Roth. Tris makes a choice to hide her test scores and joins a faction that will change her life forever. After all, isn’t life a series of choices? Suddenly thrust into a world of physical and psychological warfare, she must survive her training while hiding her secret and protecting her family.

Tris struggles to build on the popularity of The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen but never quite reaches that level of appeal. Still, she shares an edge and dedication that can be a role model for young girls. Her trainer Four (James Theo) has a leg up on The Hunger Games’ Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne with a rich back story, raw physicality and a hidden but kind heart. His rugged good looks don’t hurt either.

It is a shame really that Divergent did not make a bigger splash in the box office. Maybe it was the 139 minute length that scared people off. It looks like I may have to read Roth’s books to see what happens next. Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant should definitely be entertaining reads to follow another young adult dystopia that is all the rage.

Bad Words: 3 stethoscopes

Divergent: 3 stethoscopes

Dr. Tanya Feke is a family physician and guest columnist for the Record-Journal and Town Times. She has been press credentialed to the LA Film Festival and continues to pursue a love of film. Her reviews are rated on a five stethoscope scale. Follow her blog (www.tanyafeke.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/diagnosislife) or twitter (@tanyafeke).



Back to AllNews
Top Stories of the Week

Town eager to tackle Lake Beseck’s out-of-control weeds …
Seen from Route 147, Lake Beseck may look like it has returned to normal following the lowering of the lake’s water level in October of … more ...

Caucuses leave Francis unopposed …
On the evening of Monday, July 27 at the Durham Public Library, the Democratic and Republican parties in Durham met separately for their nominating meetings … more ...

FBI agent comes to town, but it’s okay …
more ...

Locals win state title, advance to U.S. regional …
It took 55 years, but Durham and Middlefield finally have a baseball state title in Little League. Sunday, July 20, the Coginchaug Intermediate (50-70) all-star … more ...

‘West Side Story’ comes to Durham …
Next weekend, Coginchaug Regional High School will play host to an adaptation of the Broadway musical ‘West Side Story’, being performed by the Young People’s … more ...

Comments