Bad Teacher


Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a gold digger. And a teacher. The former she excels at. The latter, not so much. She skates by. On her last day as a teacher, she goes home to her fiancé. When she gets home, he dumps her. Because she’s just using him for his money. Or she caught him in bed. With another man. Or a dog. Or his sister. Depending on whom you ask and when. So she has to return to being a teacher.

The coworkers she barely knows, because she doesn’t want to, “welcome” her back to her previous role. Her “across the hall-mate,” Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) is overly perky. And quickly becomes Elizabeth’s arch-nemesis.

Amy’s over the top antics in the classroom are a sharp contrast to Elizabeth’s lackadaisical approach to teaching. Elizabeth drinks, smokes pot, and sleeps. All in the classroom. And her constant showing of movies, most of which are probably inappropriate for 7th graders, raises some questions among staff and parents.

When Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), heir to a high-end watch-making family, starts as a substitute teacher, Elizabeth sets her sights on him. He could be the next man to take care of her. A competition arises between Amy and Elizabeth for Scott’s affection.

At the same time, the gym teacher, Russell Gettis (Jason Segel) is trying to woo Elizabeth. He vows to keep coming at her, “like the Terminator.” A promise from which he never backs down.

If you’ve seen the previews, you know that Elizabeth’s primary goal is to get a boob job. This will help her land a rich guy to finance her lifestyle. She embezzles from the parents as well as school functions, all in the name of increasing her smallest assets.

Her big chance is to get her students to score the highest in the school on the standardized test to get the bonus. Enough to cover what she needs to pay the boob balance.

Again, if you’ve seen the previews, you’ve seen a lot of the funny scenes in the film. A lot, yes. But not all. I found myself laughing at just about every scene. Many of them in an “I can’t believe they just said/did that” way. And the ending isn’t the typical ending one would have expected from the movie. Well, parts of it. (But I don’t want to give too much away. Not that it’s a Sixth Sense* kind of movie. I just want you to be able to enjoy it for yourself.) (*Bruce Willis is dead the whole movie.)

In an understated role, Eric Stonestreet nails his performance as Elizabeth’s slacker roommate. He practically steals every scene he’s in. And while I love JT and Cameron, Jason Segel is the real star of the movie. The writing and acting of his role are spot on. I think his scenes are the ones I laughed at the most.

Yes, the use of the “F word” may be over the top and gratuitous, but it helps underline Elizabeth’s character. And there is a decent amount of topless women scenes, but it really kinda fits, given the plot line. And the drug us, again, it’s who these teachers are. My point is, I wouldn’t take kids to see it. Hence the “R” rating.

If those things don’t bother you, and you want to laugh, a lot, go see this movie. You will definitely enjoy yourself. Rumor has it, critics didn’t think too highly of the movie. That’s because they’re dumb. And have no sense of humor. Take it from the critic you can trust. It’s hilarious. Unless you’re @youtuberob. He doesn’t like good movies. Just sayin’.

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