When the first trailer for Bad Teacher arrived, seeing Cameron Diaz as this foul mouthed, raunchy teacher was certainly different but definitely welcomed. The trailer showed off what looked to be a promising, funny film. Did the trailer show off the film’s best moments and ultimately make the film just plain “Bad” or did the film actually turn out to be good?
Well Albany, after seeing this film last night I’d say it’s a little bit of both. While this film certainly isn’t a comedy classic (Bridesmaids so far holds the crown as this summer’s funniest film), it does deliver a few enjoyable laughs. Diaz stars as Elizabeth, the teacher who really has no business being one in the first place. She’s cruel, drinks, smokes and has no ambition other than to marry a rich man so she won’t have to work. To her suprise, her fiancé catches on to her gold digger ways and dumps her leaving her with no other choice but to return to her teaching job she hates. Once returning in the fall, she meets the new, handsome, rich substitute (Justin Timberlake) and puts together a plan to win him over by hoping to get a boob job while also competing for his affections with the very energetic and quirky Amy (Lucy Punch). On top of this, Elizabeth also deals with ignoring the passes made on her by gym teacher (Jason Segel) and handling her students, coworkers and learning something in the process.
Sounds promising enough, right? Well on the positive side, the supporting cast of this film really worked. With a script from The Office writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, The Office‘s Phyllis Smith and actor John Michael Higgins (The Break-Up, Yes Man) to go along with Jason Segel really did a good job of supplying funny moments. Segel especially, with all of the wacky characters that filled the school’s administration, delivered some subtle, witty moments to compliment the rest of the cast. The true scene stealer though is Lucy Punch as Amy Squirrel. Her character is extremely weird and odd and she plays it up well.
Timberlake and Diaz are also good. Justin plays the sub who is also a bit odd, tries to “woo” women with pretty bad, original songs and is almost playing a dorky version of himself. While Diaz delivers on playing the foul mouthed character who really has her own intentions in mind and could care less about what anyone else thinks but ends up a totally different person in the end. So what’s wrong with this movie?
Well to be honest, the fact that it wasn’t as outgoing or raunchy as it could be. It came off as a bit tame and instead of working to be a “hard R”, it came across as awkward instead of offensive. Also, while the direction of Jake Kasdan (Freaks and Geeks, Orange County) and the script from Stupnitsky and Eisenberg all blend well together, the movie plays like more of a collection of skits rather than a complete film. It’s because of this that when this film ended I left feeling that it was just “ok” instead of drop dead funny. If you’re the type who looks for a smart, heart filled, funny thoughout comedy that works on all ends than this probably isn’t for you but if you’re looking for a few random laughs than I’d recommend this one. With 1 star meaning that I hated it, 2 stars meaning that I simply didn’t like it, 3 meaning that I liked it, 4 meaning that I really liked it and 5 meaning that I loved this film and it was perect, I’d give this film somewhere in between 2 1/2 to no more than 3 stars.
Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch and Jason Segel, can now be seen at theaters all throughout the Albany area and throughout the country.