Bad Teacher Doesn't Live Up to Its Potential
If you have seen a movie about a teacher lately, it most likely follows one of these plot lines:
1. The teacher is completely devoted to his/her students and is saintly in his/her pursuit of bettering the students in their academic lives or their personal lives. (Think: The Freedom Writers).
2. The teacher is a goofball whose heart is actually in the right place and ends up helping his/her students even though there are some funny antics along the way. (Think: School of Rock).
However, you most likely haven’t seen a movie where the teacher really is just a bad teacher and her character does not change or refine her ways throughout the movie. Well, if you want to see a movie like that, I would recommend you go see Bad Teacher, which stars Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel.
When I first heard about this movie, I was very excited. I had several bad teachers throughout my education career, so a movie that would poke fun at their thick accents, inability to adequately explain theories, or lack of interpersonal skills seemed like it would be a great idea. Sadly, that’s not what this movie is about.
Bad Teacher follows Cameron Diaz’s character, Elizabeth Halsey, in her search for a sugar daddy who will pay for her lavish lifestyle so she can quit working as teacher. She thinks she has it made at the beginning of the movie with her rich fiance; unfortunately for Elizabeth, her fiance realizes she is a gold digger and dumps her. So she goes back to her job as a 7th grade teacher.
Elizabeth sets her sights on a new substitute teacher named Scott (Justin Timberlake) who comes from a wealthy family. Scott has a weakness for women who are well endowed, so Elizabeth decides to get a boob job to lure Scott into her clutches. However, Scott is already attracted to another teacher, Amy Squirrel, who is actually a good teacher. Elizabeth decides to finally start being somewhat of a teacher to her students in order to make her class the best in the Illinois State Test so that Scott will notice her skills as a teacher, as well as to afford the boob job so he will notice her other “skills.”
I won’t give away the ending, but there are a few scenes between Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake that are pretty funny. Jason Segel also does a good job in this movie, even though he does not really say much or appear too much in the film, which was disappointing to a How I Met Your Mother fan like me. Lucy Punch, who plays Amy Squirrel, is also funny in this movie, but she just does not have enough screen time to save it.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend paying full-price to see this movie in theaters. If you want to wait for the dollar theater or for when the movie is available on Netflix, I think that would be a better idea. The plot drags for most of the movie and most of the funny parts are in the trailer. I chuckled a bit at some scenes, but the theater was strangely empty of laughter throughout most of the movie. This is obviously not a good sign for a comedy. Save this movie for a rainy day and save your money for more important things, like textbooks for next school year or a cute new outfit for your first day of classes.