Bad Teacher

Bad-Teacher-posterHow would Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake, fare in its report card? Our writer, Amelia Ang, shares her thoughts...

Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, a pseudo middle school English teacher, who really is an out of job gold-digger – her fiance recently dumped her for running up an enormous debt on his card. But not all's bleak as she meets Justin Timberlake, a goofy-looking but wealthy substitute teacher. After seeing a picture of his ex-girlfriend's enormous endowments, Halsey's naivety leads her to believing that a pair of breast implants would snag her her dream to marry into wealth, and she proceeds with a series of laughable attempts to raise the dough – including embezzlement – for the expensive project.

Who would stand in her way but for gym teacher Russell Gettis (John Segel), whose relentless advances towards her are endearing to the audience but not the character, and Amy Squrriel (Lucy Punch), who is overly enthusiastic and, unlike her name, is far from timid. Phyllis Smith as Halsey's lovably straight friend and supporter adds a sweet touch.

However, it is hard to eventually like a lead character when she – vile, selfish and unapologetically bad – hardly seems to have any redeeming factors. You wouldn't want her to teach your kids: She shirks all responsibilities to fellow colleagues; she smokes pot in her car while parked on school campus; and plays movies for her lessons. Diaz came off as a lovely but foul-mouthed female version of jerk.

Bad Teacher ends up a tad too long and under-delivering as a comedy of sorts. Worse, the lead character does not manage to redeem herself and for a film about teaching, it totally left the kids out. Our grade? C. And that means, not a great movie to bring your teacher to for teachers' day!

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