Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), a 40-year-old misanthrope, makes waves at a regional spelling bee when, due to a loophole in the rules, he is allowed to enter -- and later wins. Hurling insults at every turn, Guy advances to the national contest in Los Angeles, accompanied by a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) who wants to discover his hidden motives for entering the bee. As the competition gears up, friendless Guy inexplicably forms a bond with a young speller who is feeling parental pressure to win.
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