The Score: Bad Teacher

Friday, Jun 24, 2011 1:25PM

Written by J. Bachelor

THE SCORE
THE SCORE 6/10
Watch Trailer
  • Bad Teacher
  • Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel
  • June 24, 2011
Mr. Movie 4/5
The Washington Post 1.5/5
Film.com 70/100
New York Post 2/4
Newark Star-Ledger 3/5

Right in the midst of a comic book blockbuster season, audiences can now revisit a place most would probably rather forget - middle school - as Bad Teacher begins it theater session today.

  Starring Cameron Diaz and pop star Justin Timberlake, Bad Teacher is a dark comedy that examines the world of Elizabeth Hasley: An alcoholic, overtly vulgar, non-teaching instructor whose primary goal in life is to marry wealthy.

Diaz, who made a stunning feature debut in The Mask (1994) opposite Jim Carrey and went on to score again in the modern comedy classic There's Something About Mary (1998), is Elizabeth Halsey, a very bad, blond bombshell and Chicago-area middle-school teacher who is more than happy to say goodbye to her underpaying job to marry her rich fiance. But when her fiance's disapproving mother puts a stop to that, Elizabeth goes back to the grind to save money for an unnecessary boob job. (Boston Herald)

According to actor Jason Segel, his character was responsible for giving the self-centered Hasley a re-education on the important things in life.

"I'm the one who pops in and calls Elizabeth on her B.S., which is what the audience wants to do, at points. I'm the character who gets to voice that opinion. That was really fun. I got to come in and observe, and try to get a couple of zingers in there. It was very easy to act against Cameron. "(Collider)

In the spirit of films like Bad Santa and Me, Myself and Irene, "Bad Teacher" pushes the envelope of dark humor.

There are times some may feel the joke goes too far. However, director Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story") keeps things moving at a steady clip instead of letting scenes drag on and on. If a gag offends, there won't be more than a minute or two before the distraction of the next set-up. While there are the inevitable bodily function jokes - including a fully-clothed sex scene between Diaz and Timberlake - there's a good deal of wit as well. This may be low comedy, but it's not a stupid film by any means.(Northshore Movies)

Once a real life couple, Timberlake and Diaz share a love scene in the film; a fact that Diaz says caused a bit of anxiety prior to shooting.

"It was just [an] absurdity, a form of hilarity for all of us involved. We went to work that day and said, 'What time do we start being ridiculous? ... Eight o'clock? Perfect'."(People)

While some critics feel the film's anti-Lean on Me spin on public education is fresh and witty, other reviewers believe that Diaz's character is more bad than funny and thus, the comedy simply fails to make the grade

And for a movie that's supposed to be one long dirty joke, Bad Teacher could be even more incorrect -- or at least topical. For all her talk, Elizabeth never actually has sex, nor are there many jabs at teachers unions or pushy parents -- two extremely fertile topics for satire. But the film is fast and often funny. And while it's not for children -- really -- I bet the adults who just spent a school year with them are going to love it.(NJ.com)
That's the movie in a nutshell: solid premise, good cast, not enough fleshing-out. Bad Teacher is eager to wring laughs out of naughtiness, but doesn't expend enough effort to get them. Just being bad isn't sufficiently funny. You have to be bad in creative, clever, and original ways.(Film.com)

Peep the trailer for Bad Teacher below:

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