In Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz plays a manipulative, slack-ass stoner whose only motivation in life is to buy big boobs and land a rich husband so she never has to teach again. As middle school teacher Elizabeth Halsey, Diaz gives new meaning to the concept of class clown. She’s X-rated, brutally funny and consistently outrageous. She’s also self-centred, caustic and as shallow as her flat line character arc. You will love her anyway.
Besides being a bad teacher, provocative Elizabeth is a ruthless gold-digger. Her plight begins when she gets dumped by her rich fiancé as he realizes her affection for him is financially motivated. Left to her own devices she returns to her previous employment as school teacher. It isn’t long before she’s on the hunt for a new meal ticket, convinced that a better rack will seal the deal. As hot as she is, Elizabeth is having a hard time competing with all the Barbie doll types. Poor girl.
Enter nerdy Scott Delacorte (played by perpetual cool guy Justin Timberlake) as a substitute teacher with family money that pushes Elizabeth’s pursuit of a matrimonial meal ticket into high gear. Now she really needs a pair of D-cup breasts, especially since Scott’s last girlfriend sported major cleavage. Only Elizabeth has got competition from the reasonably endowed teacher across the hall, a tightly-wound, perky-to-the-edge-of-insanity redhead named Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch). The cat fight begins, as does the subversive behaviour that spawns the film’s steady stream of indelicate comedy.
Most of the time Elizabeth’s classroom manner requires her young, impressionable students to sit quietly and watch movies while she sleeps off her latest hangover. But big breasts cost big money so Elizabeth gets creative about using her students to help generate much needed cash. Further comedy and conflict ensues.
Bad Teacher moves at a steady, even pace. No big moves or dramatic character arcs, just big laughs. In fact, the storyline seems secondary to the foul-mouthed dialogue delivered by Diaz and company. While Diaz’s character dominates, the comedy is spread amongst a strong, supporting cast. Watch for Phyllis Smith who plays Elizabeth’s sidekick Lynn, a forlorn, soft-spoken teacher who admires Elizabeth’s boldness. Just a few encouraging words from Elizabeth and Lynn too can start kicking ass and taking names.
As for the token sex scene involving Diaz and Timberlake, it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. Still, you will laugh out loud, blush, or maybe cover your eyes in embarrassment.
Bad Teacher is appropriately rated R for sexual content, nudity, some drug use and wildly entertaining foul language. If you need a good laugh and enjoy bawdy humour then look for Bad Teacher at your local movie theatre. Otherwise, it will definitely be a hot rental for home viewing later this year.