Saturday, July 16, 2011
Article first published as Movie Review: Bad Teacher on Blogcritics.
‘Bad Teacher’ stars Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel and is directed by Jake Kasdan. The film focuses on a foul-mouthed, careless teacher, Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) who gets dumped by her sugar daddy fiancé’ and is now setting her sights on the new teacher at her school, Scott Delacorte (Timberlake) who she hopes to be her next sugar daddy. When Elizabeth and Scott talk, he shows her a picture of his ex-girlfriend who of course has large breasts, which in turn makes Elizabeth think that if she were to get breast implants Scott will date and marry her and she’d be set for life. Unfortunately, breast implants are expensive and Elizabeth would have to save a lot of money in order to have the surgery. But, when she learns that the class with the highest test scores wins the teacher a huge bonus, Elizabeth puts her students to work and will stop at nothing to win that money. Can Elizabeth beat the best teacher at the school to win the bonus and get everything she’s ever hoped for or will she fail and lose everything she’s ever worked for??
Cameron Diaz is truly hysterical in this ridiculous, crude comedy. She carries this entire film beautifully. It’s delightful to watch her character travel through this absurd journey of her life. To observe Diaz as a teacher with no class, no pun intended, was beyond fun. She said whatever came to her mind and didn’t care who heard her or what was going to occur next. The idea of a character being so careless and rude and to be wrapped up into a middle school teacher was funny in itself. The complete opposite of what any teacher could ever be, and Diaz perfected the role. Justin Timberlake on the other hand, portrays a character that is more of an innocent, straight-laced wealthy teacher. His character was quite dull and disappointing. Timberlake is usually a comedic actor, but his role felt like he was trying too hard to get laughs. His character was not entirely likeable or relatable. He had corny lines and at times came off a little too feminine, not like there is anything wrong with that, but it didn’t add to the character at all, it just made it worse. Lucy Punch portrays Amy Squirrel, which is similar to Timberlake because she is also a goody two shoes, but she has an evil side. Her character was beyond annoying. The film was sometimes hard to watch because she was just too irritating. She’s a constant tattle tale and vindictive. The best character was portrayed by Jason Segel as Russell Gettis, the gym teacher. He was funny, likable and relatable. His role was small but every time he was on screen it was enjoyable. He always portrays a laid back, go with the flow type of guy and it works really well for him. His scenes with his students are truly the best, because he talks to them like anyone else but not in a rude manner.
The story line was obviously a bit ludicrous, but that’s what comedy is all about. It was pure entertainment. The laughs will not stop from beginning to end. Just remember to not walk into that theater looking for more than it is. It’s a raunchy, comedy with bawdy characters and an entertaining plot. It’s highly recommended for anyone who loves comedies, especially starring one leading lady who is truly tremendous in this role.