Review: Bad Teacher (2011)

Bad Teacher (2011)

Directed by: Jake Kasdan | 92 minutes | comedy | Actors: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Dave Allen, Jillian Armenante, Matthew J. Evans, Kaitlyn Dever, Kathryn Newton, Igal Ben Yair, Aja Bair, Andra Nechita, Noah Munck

There is an aso in each of us, including Cameron Diaz. In ‘Bad Teacher’ she is allowed to give free rein to her inner secret as a foul-mouthed teacher. She dresses provocatively, calls her students bad fish and tells an insecure kid that he can forget dating the prettiest girl in the class. Is that fun? Maybe for a while, but not for long.

In ‘Bad Teacher’, Diaz takes on the role of Elizabeth Halsey, a glamorous romper who has just been sacked by her wealthy fiancé. Time to hook a new fish, but that takes quite a bit of work. Rich men simply prefer ladies with two basketballs in their blouses, and in Elizabeth’s case, they have to be bought first. To save a nice bunch of bouncers, Liz reluctantly returns to her old job as a teacher and beats her way through class time, smoking weed, sleeping and swearing. Meanwhile, she sets her sights on her new colleague Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), a member of a family that has enough money in the bank to supply the entire faculty with silicone. Teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) also has her eye on the wealthy heir. That only means one thing: war.

A movie like ‘There’s Something About Mary’ proves that underwear fun can really be fun. The condition is that the jokes hit the target and that the characters have something touching. That is where ‘Bad Teacher’ falls short. The characters that director Jake Kasdan presents irritate more than they entertain. Diaz tries her best, but gets too many deadly jokes and painfully awkward situations split in the stomach. A blond beauty with a twitch in her quiff, that was a laugh, but Diaz and Timberlake having dry sex? In addition, Timberlake is just not like a rich wimp and Phyllis Smith (‘The Office US’) and Jason Segel (‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’) have played the role of frumpy colleague or rejected lover before and with more panache. Also, it seems like the screenwriters couldn’t choose where to take their characters. Is Elizabeth really a money-hungry, nice and uncompromising child hater or does she secretly live in the low-cut sweater with a small heart?

What ‘Bad Teacher’ still has to offer the moviegoer are half a dozen semi-successful jokes and a scene in which Diaz dips a hood (and undoubtedly the majority of her male admirers) in the water. Fun for bachelor parties, let’s keep it that way.

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