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Bad Teacher

A movie directed by Jake Kasdan

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Bad Teacher

  • Jun 24, 2011
Growing up I don't know if I ever had a teacher who didn't care one bit. All of my teachers, at the very least, could put on a show so I was none the wiser. It was tough to tell what to expect from the movie, most of the trailers just featured the same one liners that weren't all that funny to begin with. The premise was good and had the potential to be hilarious if it was written from the perspective of a disgruntled teacher, it wasn't. While expectations were low the movie still had all the possibility in the world to offend but never quite gets to that point.

Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, a teacher that we all wished we had while we were going to school, a hottie who likes to show movies all day. She is just trying to get by until she can find a sugar daddy that can make all her dream purchases come true. Elizabeth loses out on plan A, and figures as she is getting older the best way to snag herself a man and compete with all the younger trim out there is with bigger breasts. All of a sudden a new substitute teacher, who comes from old money, rolls into the school and it seems her problems are solved. Now all she has to do is fend off a perky teacher from across the hall and a gym teacher who has the hots for her.

All the actors do a fine job in the movie, but that is probably them at their best, doing a fine job. All the actors seem to play a caricature, but none of them really go for it. We know that Justin Timberlake can be hilarious as seen on SNL, but can probably only go as far as the script takes him, I'm not sure if he knows how to take it to the next level yet. And Diaz gives it her all, but the problem is once again the writing. It is unclear if they wanted her to be as devious, as say a “Bad Santa,” or become the likable lead. They get close to both but excel in neither. In an unrelated note, I wonder what it was like for Diaz to have her character pursue a real life ex.

The better performances come from Jason Segal as Russell Gettis the gym teacher and Lucy Punch as Amy Squirrel the goody-goody teacher from across the hall. They do well playing the opposite ends of the spectrum to Diaz's character. Segal has done great as a completely likable guy and while his character is not perfect, he seems like the only one in the movie who is relatable. Meanwhile Lucy Punch seems to be the nicest character of the bunch which means in a movie called "Bad Teacher" she will be the chief antagonist. As she allows her character to get tipped over the edge she becomes far more interesting to watch than any of the names above the title. Punch goes for it all and it results in some of the funnier moments in the movie. Had all the characters had the same reign as she did, which on paper was probably written the same as the others, this movie could have been much better.

The two latter characters written about are the saving graces of the movie, and probably how they should have written the other two lead characters. This movie advertises itself as a black comedy and while it does have a couple funny moments to it, there is nothing really worth raving about. It is a perfect movie to go see and then no longer have the burden of remembering anything about it. D

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June 25, 2011
Were I granted a contract in which I was authorized to rewrite this film's script with complete freedom, distribute it worldwide and uncut regardless of an NC-17 rating and stage Jason Segal's onscreen murder, this could have been the single greatest comedy ever shot. Unfortunately, Hollywood execs (who've as much a grasp of humor as of art) still cling to pratfalls, recycled ebonics, normalized character motivation and adherence to the U.S. criminal code. Pathetic.
June 25, 2011
So how do you really feel?
June 25, 2011
Oh, drowsy.
June 24, 2011
The previews did nothing for me so I'm glad I read your review; now I know I'm not missing anything LOL Great review!!
June 24, 2011
Great review! I was curious about this too because it seemed like it was going to be really funny. Curiosity may win out but, possibly for an afternoon matinee...or Netflix ;p Thanks for the heads up!
June 24, 2011
I've seen other negative reviews for this and it's a shame as I was really looking forward to this. Thank you for the review.
June 24, 2011
too bad, I was mildly curious about this one. I guess it didn't want to lose mainstream appeal when it came to Diaz's character....? Nice review!
More Bad Teacher reviews
review by . February 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Who said Cameron Diaz couldn't act? In Bad Teacher, she turns in a performance which is as remarkable for Diaz's portrayal of complete, uncaring depravity as it is for her awesome, finely honed comedic chops. Diaz pulls no punches whatsoever as the lead character, Elizabeth Halsey, a scumbucket of a human being who has somehow convinced the faculty of the local middle school that she's the best teacher who ever lived. Her performance is on par in its no-holds-barred grit and against-type derring-do …
review by . July 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
            I’ll not be the first to say it but Bad Teacher is bad and not in a good way. This movie suffers from the ultimate fault of bad writing. I wouldn’t be surprised if even on paper this movie remains a shallowed hollowed out shell of a dark comedy. Unlike good dark comedies that use the word Bad in the title, first of which I mention Bad Santa, Bad Teacher’s lead character Elizabeth Halsey (played by Cameron Diaz) is not as bad as she is boring …
review by . June 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Bad Teacher is about a woman whose badness far exceeds her teaching. She’s rude, dishonest, manipulative, superficial, unsympathetic, and cruel. The movie should have been called Bad Person. Her name is Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz), a Chicago gold digger. The film begins with her leaving her junior high teaching position after only one year; she chose the job because of the easy opportunities to do the bare minimum, but her real dream is …
review by . June 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Too Cool for School
BAD TEACHER   Written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg   Directed by Jake Kasdan   Starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch and Justin Timberlake      The movies offer a long line of great educators to draw inspiration from. There’s Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver; Morgan Freeman in Lean on Me; and even Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. And while that last example might seem a bit of a stretch, she is still infinitely …
review by . June 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   15 - 92mins - Comedy - 17th June 2011 Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) has somehow found herself as a school teacher during her life when all she wants to do is grab a man with lots of money who can provide for her. With her former fiancé having worked out the truth and ditching her, Elizabeth has to return and teach for yet another school year much to her frustration. Not only does she have to teach the children but also has to keep the principal (John Michael Higgins) and …
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I'm glad that I didn't fully listen to all the naysayers here and checked this out for an afternoon matinee today. That's not to say they're wrong because this is no Hangover or even a Get Him to the Greek but, I found it a perfect brain candy movie that gave me a few laughs.      I thought JT was HILARIOUS- his Simpatico song was great and Diaz did a good job as did the other cast mates. I had never heard of Lucy Punch and thought she did an amazing job as the …
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About this movie



Director: Jake Kasdan
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 24 June 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Runtime: 92 min
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"Reviewed: Bad Teacher [2011]"
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