‘Bad Teacher’ DVD Review
A review by G-Funk!
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch
Plot: Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) is a terrible teacher, but the job is only a stop-gap before she fulfills her plan of landing a rich guy, which she hopes to achieve by getting a boob job.
Review: Going by the title, cover art and trailers, one could be forgiven for thinking it was about a person who was a bad teacher. This is really incidental to the plot, it could’ve been about a person in any profession. There’s plenty of comedy to be had with a teacher who doesn’t give a rats about her job, but that rich vein of comedy gold only occasionally crops up as an afterthought. The one part of the story it impacts on – her class getting a high test score so she can win the money for new boobs – is only introduced late in the second act.
It’s best just to think about this as a movie about a horrible person trying to land a rich guy for his money. The main character is beyond unlikeable – she has no redeeming features whatsoever. If she was just sabotaging her own life it would be funnier, but putting her in close proximity makes it more uncomfortable than amusing. Halsey does get her predictable redemption at the end of the film, but there’s nothing leading up to it. We skip ahead a few months in the story and suddenly she’s a good person who’s good at her job with no explanation or sense. It kinda feels like a few pages of the script got lost somewhere along the way. Just to make it more confusing, her redemption comes directly after setting up the ‘good’ character to take the fall on a drug charge, which we presume she was sent to jail for.
This smacks of a premise that the writers didn’t have enough material for. Almost every scene reads like a stand-alone skit. Justin Timberlake’s character has an utterly bizarre scene where he goes completely against his established role as the straight-up good guy to indulge in cheating on his girlfriend by dry-humping Cameron Diaz. One gets the impression that a writer thought this would be funny and threw it into the movie even though it doesn’t make sense for the character or the story.
The premise of terrible teacher has plenty of potential, but this wastes it. Best ignored. Instead, try this game: after this and Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses try and guess which 1990’s sex symbol is going to try and recapture their title with an ‘extreme’ role next?
TWO outta TEN