Bad Teacher Review
By Bret Dorman
It takes a lot to ‘offend’ me when it comes to comedy. Perhaps I’ve been de-sensitized after years of watching/studying/performing comedy and when one of your biggest idols is Lenny Bruce, who went to jail for being ‘offensive’, its hard for a movie like Bad Teacher to throw around some F-Bombs and make a teacher who doesn’t care about her students offensively funny. Its not the comedy I find offensive, its the morals behind the comedy.
The Story: Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a bad teacher (that’s the name of the movie!). Her teacher rival is Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), who fight over their crushes on newbie Scott (Justin Timberlake) while Halsey herself is being crushed on by gym teacher Russell (Jason Segel). Also, Tom Lennon makes an appearance and gets really drunk!
Let’s get the good out of the way first, since its very limited and ultimately not worth it. Jason Segel is awesome. His nice guy character is far superior to any other on screen and his delivery is spot on. Tom Lennon shows up for a few minutes and breathes some life into the movie, resuscitating Cameron Diaz’s… “humor”… from falling flat.
Lucy Punch is good and I like her and her quirky roles she brings to otherwise average movies. She’s not afraid of appearing too crazy on screen and for my money, her ‘cuteness’ is more appealing than Diaz’s ‘hotness’. I had more fun watching her on screen than Diaz.
Well that’s about it for the good. Three actors who would be better off in something that could really feed their talents instead of syphoning them.
The bad? Well, Timberlake’s character, Scott is supposed to be this dreamy guy who is really a nerd but has a lot of money so Cameron Diaz’s character decides she wants to get a boob-job so he will like her. Right…
Consider the rest of this Spoiler! territory, but just know if you’ve seen the preview you know what is going to happen and who is going to end up with who. (Also it might only make sense to those who have seen it.)
So Halsey wants to date Scott for his money. Then she learns that maybe Russell is the better of the two because he has a *gasp* personality and can actually flirt back with Halsey. No biggie. But Halsey is such a terrible person that even though she cheated to get a bonus to give herself bigger boobs and does drugs during class, she still falsley rats out Amy getting her transfered to a worse school. And then right after that she shuts down Scott, who used to date Amy. So Halsey ‘slept’ with Scott, broke up his relationship with Amy, drove Amy to the point of insanity (her only ‘bad’ side was she was crazy, but not malicious like Halsey who is genuinely a terrible person. Is Amy so in the wrong to not want Halsey to be a teacher when in fact Halsey is NOT a good teacher?). Then Halsey ends up with Russell, who is WAY too good for her. If he were the main character of this movie, Halsey would be the one he pines after until realizing he should instead date the other girl.
Elizabeth Halsey lies, cheats, steals and in the end destroys relationships, careers, and doesn’t learn anything except how to exploit people and still ends up getting a job with kids where her ‘tell-it-like-it-is” attitude is ‘better suited’ for the role. Halsey is not a character I want to watch succeed. If this movie had ended not on a feel good note, but with her life being destroyed instead of everyone else’s I would have applauded the movie.
In Conclusion, Some jokes were funny and most were just F-Bombs for the sake of F-Bombs… only wait! It was in front of kids so it IS funny! The terrible morals of the main character and the fact she is rewarded for them makes this movie utterly irredeemable. I would much rather see Jason Segel, Tom Lennon, and Lucy Punch in something I like then having to try to defend them in something this aweful.
Final Grade: F (for Fuck you Bad Teacher… oops… was that too harsh or offensive? Maybe if you give me a lot of money and a super hot girlfriend I will ‘learn my lesson’…)