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Bad Teacher

A movie directed by Jake Kasdan

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Reviewed: Bad Teacher [2011]

  • Jun 22, 2011

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 goody two shoes teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) off her back while all the time fending off the gym teacher Russell’s (Jason Segel) advances.

Things start to look up then when she discovers the new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) is sitting on a family fortune. But Elizabeth has competition from the ever perky/mentally unstable Amy so sets about getting money for a boob job that will be sure to win over Scott and his money. Confrontations get even more extreme when Elizabeth discovers there’s a cash prize for the teacher who achieves the best academic results.

Timberlake once again shows that he is more than apt in the role as a dorky geek with his transitions to the screen a lot more impressive than some other wanna be pop star actors out there. During the movie, there was a moment when I thought they were going to get him singing properly but luckily he knows how to rip on himself very well. I’m still not sure whether most of his laughs come from the fact that the audience knows he is Justin Timberlake and he is doing weird things or whether it is because of his character. I’m inclined to say the former but he still got the laughs.

The others did their jobs with nothing spectacular but no duds either. Special credit goes to Phyllis Smith who plays Lynn the introvert teacher who is always pushed around and Segal who’s performance merited more screen time. It also wouldn’t be a Diaz film if there wasn’t some point at which she lost a few layers and despite being just shy of the big four O she sure knows how to pull off a car wash scene.

There was something with the soundtrack that I liked as well. It suited the mood and gave that scheming feeling which was apparent whenever Diaz or Punch were on screen.

Bad teacher impresses more than I thought it was going to with a combination of over the top characters that play off of each other well and several cringe worthy moments leading the way in the laughing stakes (I actually laughed quite a few times). Sure there were some jokes that didn’t quite make the cut for me and the reverting to toilet humour cropped up a couple of times but these instances were few and far between. It’s certainly better than the long list of mediocre comedies that have been shown so far this year (Hall Pass, The Hangover Part II, The Dilemma) and is certainly worth a watch.

Rating: B-

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June 25, 2011
Cheers all for reading. Think this has been getting a bit of an unfair bashing. Yes it's no masterpiece but it made me laugh and is better than most of the other comedies on the big screen atm
June 23, 2011
This didn't sound like it was going to be great, but I love Cameron Diaz, so I was hopin'. Thanks for sharing, James!
June 24, 2011
I think I may just see this one for the heck of it.....
June 22, 2011
Good to know - I've been interested in seeing this one!
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 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
James ()
Ranked #190
I, like so many others, am a film lover with my own blog. Feel free to drop on by and have a read.      Website:http://www.fanaticalaboutfilms.com      Site Twitter: … more
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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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