Bad Teacher

June 27, 2011
2011 has been a year mostly full of high expectations, with little to no pay off, as far as films go; unfunny comedies, disappointing sequels, and pathetic reboots and remakes. With much promise being shown in the Spring Movie Season, then came summer, which brought with it really just an army of crap. I regret to inform you that Bad Teacher is no exception. Boasting an extremely impressive cast including Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, John Michael Higgins, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, and Thomas Lennon, it was really just any comedy fan’s dream. Cameron Diaz does surprisingly well as the lead heroine (I use that term loosely in this case). She comes off as repulsive during most of the first half, but then becomes sympathetic enough for you to root for her in the third act. Jason Segel steals every scene that he’s in, and is the only real source for the true laughs in the picture. As for Justin Timberlake, he gave it his all, but he just came off as kind of…creepy and unnecessary? That’s kind of the trend of the whole movie, unnecessary. At a modest running time of 88 minutes, at least 60 of them are just filler, and try to make up for the film’s lack of any direct plot.

Bad Teacher follows Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz), who is a truly bad, bad, teacher. After being dumped by her extremely rich fiancée, she must make ends meet returning to her teaching job, where she drinks, smokes pot, curses at the students, and spends most of her time looking for a new sugar daddy. It’s then that she meets Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), the new sub that coincidentally enough, is there for the entire year. He participates in all faculty events and extracurricular activities as a regular faculty member, so why not just make him a full-time teacher rather than a sub? Seems a little bit unnecessary, no? Also interested in Elizabeth is gym teacher Russell (Jason Segel) who seems to show more interest and more companionship with Elizabeth than most people dare to admit. Her across the hall mate is Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), the annoying and nosy 7th grade history teacher. That’s really about it as far as substance goes. The rest of the film really just follows Elizabeth trying to raise money to get a pair of fake breasts, seduce Scott, and get rid of Amy. Plot? No, no, no who needs one? Character development? No, no, no nobody needs that either. Good jokes? In a comedy? Are you crazy? There’s no way that’s possible. Bad Teacher really doesn’t have anything to say, and just isn’t funny save for Jason Segel’s scenes. I would’ve given Bad Teacher an F, if it wasn’t for Segel’s timing and for Diaz’s performance. I’ll be honest, besides those two things, Bad Teacher isn’t really even worth a watch, and is definitely a waste of a full price admission of $11. According to the tagline, “She doesn’t give an F.” I think it should be changed to, “She really wanted an F.”
Grade: C-

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