I like Cameron Diaz. I enjoyed Bad Santa. Hell, I even like Summer School. However, I don’t like all those ingredients thrown into a blender with the barest attempt at originality and the lack of any real laughs.
If you take Billy Bob Thornton‘s character from Bad Santa and put him into Mark Harmon‘s role from Summer School, then make him an aging blonde hottie obsessed with getting a boob job and tricking some rich dullard into marriage you have the script for Bad Teacher, not just the premise mind you, the entire script.
Writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (the comedic geniuses who are responsible for Year One) waste another talented cast by phoning in yet another suprisingly unfunny comedy. If you know how these guys continue to get work please let me know. (I’m guessing that must have some incriminating pictures of several studio heads.)
After being dumped by her trust fund boyfriend Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) is forced to continue teaching in junior high. Honestly, I’m not exactly what class she’s teaching (English?), or why she appears to have only one set of students when as a junior high teacher, who says herself she has four separate classes, she should have far more, but since the script doesn’t appear to think basic details like that are necessary information to part to the audience I’ll move on.
Looking for a new ticket into the good life the lying, conniving, lazy, backstabbing, alcoholic drug user (who does all of these things on school property) sets her sites on a nerdy new teacher (Justin Timberlake) with family money while doing the bare minimum in the classroom. When it looks like she’s loosing her new mark to another teacher (Lucy Punch) Halsey sets her sites on winning a $5,700 bonus for the classroom with the best test scores and actually starts teaching (instead of simply showing random movies to her students as she recovers from that morning’s hangover).
The story is predictable and although the movie picks up a bit after Diaz’s character actually starts teaching the laughs are few and far between. There are some funny, although hardly original, premises throughout the film but the execution is lazy and uninspired. We’re even treated to Diaz it cutoffs mounting cars in the school parking lot for an ill-conceived school sponsored money maker.
The DVD includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a pair of short behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the movie. The film wastes a talented cast that includes Diaz, Jason Segel, and John Michael Higgins without providing much in the way of charm or humor. Although she’s produced some incredibly entertaining flicks over the years, Cameron Diaz is also known for making her share of bad decisions (Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle, Very Bad Things) which, sadly, includes Bad Teacher.