Boobs. Pot. Boobs, poop jokes, gratuitous swearing, boobs, smoking pot — oh, did I mention boobs? Wow, I have just summed up the plot of Bad Teacher in less than 15 words…Don’t I get a gold star sticker and a triple Patron on the rocks? I think after suffering through 89 minutes of Bad Teacher, I deserve it.
Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) is a “bad teacher” from the start. She’s skating through the school year’s curriculum doing the bare minimum as she plans to marry the
money man of her dreams. Unfortunately for her, the fiance dumps her, forcing Elizabeth to return to the teaching job she hates and to go on the prowl for her next sugar daddy. It just so happens that there’s a new sub in town. Scott (Justin Timberlake), a nerdy teacher that comes from old money, has caught Elizabeth’s eye, and she’s out for blood. She decides the best way to get him to grovel at her feet is to get a boob job. Enter crappy antics, crude humor, and lots of boobs as she strives to come up with the cash. All the while, Russel (Jason Segel) the flabby gym teacher is vying for her attention. When Elizabeth discovers that the teacher whose students score the highest on their state tests gets a bonus, she decides to be the best teacher ever. Of course, that means that she subsequently becomes the worst teacher ever. Are we having fun yet?
I’m not an idiot, I knew what I was getting into when I went to see this. Columbia Pictures doesn’t lead you wrong in the trailers. I just didn’t expect it to be comprised solely of crude humor — with no intelligence attached. Bad Teacher is no Hangover, it’s definitely not Bridesmaids…hell, it’s not even close to being Bad Santa. I suppose I should have guessed how much I would love this movie, considering that both Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg were the writers. They co-wrote that fanciful delight known as Year One, the best picture ever made. If sarcasm was a flavor, what would it taste like? How do two fantastic writers for a show like The Office manage to completely loose sight of any humor that doesn’t rely on weed, boobs, and watching a beautiful woman swear like a sailor? What’s more arresting than the humor is the shaky cookie-cutter plot. We are never shown what made Elizabeth into such a slimy character, nor any other reasons for her raunchy escapades other than the urgent need of a boob job.
Diaz pulls out all the stops to flesh out her pathetically superficial character. Considering the depth of the character was extremely limited, it didn’t take much effort on her part. Segel and Timberlake have a few mildly entertaining moments, but the real star of the show was Phyllis Smith. She was an easy type cast for her character as Lynn, but she pulled it off flawlessly. It was actually a relief when she was on screen with her innocent and awkward personality providing most of my laughs.
Bad Teacher is poorly written and there are absolutely no morals or resolutions to character flaws. The crude humor is uncomfortable at best and boring at worst. You would have a better time watching a Passion of the Christ 3D marathon in a room full of liberal Jews. Want to know the funniest thing about Bad Teacher? When three people stood up and clapped at the end.
I give Bad Teacher 1 “majestic, ferocious shark” out of 5.