Director: Jake Kasdan
Writers: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Dave Allen, Jillian Armenante, Matthew J. Evans, Kaitlyn Dever, Kathryn Newton, Igal Ben Yair, Aja Bair, Andra Nechita, Noah Munck, Molly Shannon
Synopsis: A comedy centered around a foul-mouthed, junior high teacher who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague -- a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Hot For Teacher
You know how they say there's a lot of hard working teachers that go above and beyond to ensure the academic success of their students? The kind that will always stay after class to help out a child with any problems they may have? The type of teacher that genuinely cares about their students so much.... Well, this isn't one of them. If anything, this teacher could give a rat's a** about anything that doesn't involve her own agenda. Sure, some teachers relish in the ideals of helping their young students learn, but this one rather get high, drink and marry herself a new sugar daddy rather than give a f*** about a bunch of kids. Who is this teacher? Well, allow me to introduce Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz).
At first, she may seem kind and sweet when we meet her after the opening credits. However, I wouldn't let that fool you, as she's quite the manipulative b**** if you know what I mean. Not only does steal money from her school's charity car wash, she even cons the parents into giving her money, at teacher parent conferences, to...(ahem)..ensure the academic success of said students if you catch my drift... Hell, she even manages to help her class cheat on a state exam, by seducing and blackmailing a state representative. Why does she do this? Well apparently her school gives away fifty seven hundred dollars to the person, who teaches the class that scores the highest on the state exam. Needless to say, this definitely piques Halsey's interest....just not for the right reasons. Indeed, there's nothing this woman wouldn't do to manipulate, and con her way into getting what she wants. And, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Although, I would be appalled by this sort of behavior if this was a real teacher. But in a dark comedy like this? I absolutely love it! Seriously, when you've seen as many freaking movies as I have, it's good to see an occasional character that royally doesn't give a damn about what's morally right in society. A character that isn't afraid to say "F*** you", while throwing away all the feel good politeness crap that we're supposed to have for each other. Yes, I know this makes me sound like a**hole right now, and I apologize if it does. However, you can't deny how funny "Bad Teacher" is. Sure, it's not a movie that I would recommend to those that don't like comedies with foul mouthed characters, with all morality and decency be damned. However, I would recommend it if you're into dark comedies that are in line with such films like "Bad Santa", or even the remake of the "Bad News Bears."
The film essentially follows Halsey after she breaks up with her sugar daddy, so she's forced to come back to work as a junior high school teacher. Miserable with her life, as she'd rather be living off her rich sugar daddy's money, so she gives a half a** effort in teaching her class by letting them watch movies all the time. Then a new guy arrives, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake). Scott happens to be related to a rich uncle that owns an allegedly prestigious watch making company. Needless to say, Halsey takes it upon herself to try to do anything and everything to make Scott her new sugar daddy. Unfortunately, her rival, Amy Squirrel, who happens to be a bit of a "tattle tell" and "goody too shoes" type, also likes Scott too. This obviously causes friction between our two characters, as the events that ensue from here is a non stop riot that'll tickle your funny bone until it hurts.
Sure, I'll be the first to admit that the movie does have it's flaws, as it obviously rips off a lot of elements from "Bad Santa." However, the thing that bothered me about this movie was the redemption moment of the character herself. In "Bad Santa", the main protagonist, in spite of his flaws, did have some redeeming qualities. And the transition where character redeems himself in the end was a lot more potent, and meaningful in a lot of ways. In "Bad Teacher", the moment of redemption is downplayed quite a bit, as the film tends to emphasize more on the low brow dark humor rather than the story itself. Not that there's anything wrong with it, as I'm sure most viewers won't mind. It just makes the film pale in comparison to other movies that have used the same concepts a helluva a lot better. However, I will say the thing that surprised me the most was Diaz's performance in this picture.
Normally, Cameron Diaz never plays the bad girl in any film. Well not in any of the other movies that I've seen her in at least. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised on how well she managed to pull off the role. Not only did she play the part of a manipulating con artist to perfection, but you just couldn't bring yourself to hate her. No matter what her character did in the film, Cameron's charisma was so upbeat that you couldn't help but like her anyway; even when she was telling her own students to f*** off. Truly a great performance by Cameron, and certainly unexpected as well.
Overall, if you're just looking for a low brow dark comedy that'll tickle your funny bone, then "Bad Teacher" might be right up your alley. Although, some of the film's images might prove disturbing to some viewers like seeing a junior high student's bulge when he gets turned on by Halsey's car wash display. Don't worry, he's wearing pants though in that scene, so you never see anything. However, it still might be a bit disturbing to some folks out there. In the end, I'd have to give this movie a three out of four. Sure, it's not as great as other dark comedies like "Bad Santa", but if you're into these types of films, then "Bad Teacher" is definitely a must see.