Carl the Critic: Reviews "Bad Teacher"
"Bad Teacher" Poster
"Bad Teacher" Trailer
Experience/Expectations: What do you get if you take DVD copy of "Bad News Bears" (1976), pounded it into a powder, and snorted it off the chest of a prostitute with Tourette syndrome? Well you would have wasted a perfectly good DVD. What you wouldn't get is "Bad Teacher" because it is a film that you can find on DVD and Bluray (you weirdo). I saw this a few weeks ago, and was just finally able to write about it, because I have been busy with other matters. Let's begin with the story.
Story: In a few ways "Bad Teacher" is similar "Bad News Bears". They both have the word Bad in the title, they are about a lazy person who has an addiction problem, and- actually that's all I can think- Oh wait almost forgot, they both have the main characters competing against another character. So yeah, other than that the movies are different, the main character is a woman named Elizabeth Halsey (played by Cameron Diaz) who wants bigger breast, but she can not afford to get them because she is a teacher, and as we all know teachers don't make that much money. There is also a love story tied into here with the main love interest (played by Justin Timberlake) and the hopeless romantic (played by Jason Segel), and Halsey is competing with teacher Amy Squirrel (played by Lucy Punch) over everything.
Critique: Oi! Lots of plot devices are being used all at once here, and I am not sure if it is a good or bad thing. As mentioned before in the way beginning, Halsey has a drug problem,which is another plot device writers often use to create a character arc. However in this film it is almost as if they started making the character arc, establishing her drug problem but then near the end they sort of for got about it, it's never quite said that she stopped doing drugs, but they never mention it again so we will never know.
The other plot device of the relationships are also predictable. You have a substitute teacher with glasses versus a gym teacher who isn't in the best shape, and without wishing to spoil the one who is obvious is not the one she ends up with.
But going back to the character arc, the point of it is to show a change of character, whether it be maturity, or to stop acting like a prick, or to over come your fear, but Halsey doesn't really change that dramatically. There is a change, but it's not that significant, it's like if "The King's Speech" ended right after Prince Albert became King.However having said all this the story isn't bad, but it's cluttered with plot devices that interchange, and the conclusion is kind of a disappointment.
Moving away from the story now, let's focus on the acting. It wasn't bad, but I have certainly seen better. I can safely say that this is one of Justin Timberlake's worst performances in a film that I have seen in a while (hopefully his performance in "Friends With Benefits" is better). Cameron Diaz was better in this film than in "The Green Hornet", but this isn't really an accomplishment, a performance from a brain dead monkey would have been better. Jason Segel's acting was my favorite in the entire film, in fact I'm not sure if he has ever been this good. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" comes close, but I think he might have actually been better in "Bad Teacher" (though it's really hard to judge.) Lucy Punch makes an amazing villain, and I wouldn't mind seeing again playing another antagonist, but I think it was because of her character's complexity, and her motivations for her actions was for the good of the school. After all who wants a pothead teacher who does nothing but sleep, and show movies.
The dialogue and gags through out the film were funny, and cleaver, but some were disgusting. Lots of sex jokes, a few drug related jokes, and one poop joke I can think of at the top of my head.
My recommendation for this depends on if you believe a film can be carried by humor, because there certainly a lot of that. It's not a great film and it feels very brief, but if humor is all you want than "Bad Teacher" is for you!
Overall: Not too special, but entertaining I gave "Bad Teacher" a 7.9 out of 10.