‘Bad Teacher’, is the latest comedy from director Jake Kasdan; his last comedy ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox’ story was brilliant; however, that may have been due to the sheer comedic genius of John C. Reilly. With ‘Bad Teacher’ he earns a resounding failing grade with a flop of a comedy on a mammoth scale.
The previews are all the best bits and lines; I would recommend a quick YouTube of the trailer rather than wasting your money on this failing effort. ‘Bad Teacher’ is the sort of movie that has you looking at your watch a mere ten minutes into the first reel; the kind of movie that simply never lives up to its promise. It’s as if the writers, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, pulled all of their ideas from a Cliff Notes on comedy, I mean this is really just a string of bad sitcoms thrown together with some foul language to give it some punch; which it never really accomplishes, foul language for simple use of foul language does not constitute comedy. See the use of foul language in the hilarious ‘Bridesmaids’ and you will understand what I mean.
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a gold digger turned teacher, biding her time in the classroom until her rich fiancé can marry her. As it turns out, the rich fiancé calls off the wedding and Elizabeth is forced to return to the classroom as a way of supporting herself. She devises a scheme to raise $10,000 for a boob job, which she feels, will attract another rich guy. So – if you can grasp this premise, she is teaching to get a boob job; one wonders how this school even hired her in the first place.
At the school, Elizabeth encounters a teaching adversary (Lucy Punch), a dim-witted substitute teacher who happens to be rich (Justin Timberlake), an everyman gym teacher (Jason Segel), and a best friend teacher (Phyllis Smith, the only funny actress in the movie). “Bad Teacher’ is a promising idea with a fairly good cast that just does not have anything funny to say. Eventually, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky resort to fart jokes, erection jokes, very weird and unfunny sex/non-sex jokes and the always available breast enlarging jokes; when you have nothing funny or original to say, go with toilet humor. Well, at least in the theater I was in that did not work on the audience (well, except for a few 12 year olds who were able to sneak in hoping to get a glance of Diaz nude).
Most of the worthwhile comedians in this film simply move from line to line, they seem to be just as bored as we are. Diaz tries hard to make the ‘Bad Teacher’ lovable and funny, but even she cannot work with the failing material. We never come to like this teacher or sympathize with her plight; in fact, I found myself waiting for her to meet just desserts!
Save this 1 star ‘F’ for the local Redbox, where I am certain it will be in a few short weeks. Better yet, head to my favorite $1.00 movie rental service, Redbox, and pick up ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ before Part 2 hits theaters in July. In the final installments, Harry has definitely grown up and so has the story; darker, richer and filled with pathos, the final chapters of Harry Potter are something to enjoy! Catch this 4 star Part 1 soon, before Part 2 arrives!