Film: Bad Teacher
Starring: Cameron Diaz (My Sister's Keeper), Justin Timberlake (The Social Network), and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Director: Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard and Orange County)
U.S. Release: June 24th, 2011 (Rated R)
Runtime: 92 minutes
After catching an afternoon showing of Jake Kasdan's vulgar comedy Bad Teacher, I was reminded of all the other lacking, run of the mill comedies the director has filmed. Similar to his earlier works Walk Hard and Orange County, Bad Teacher carelessly manages to muster up a ridiculous, non sensible story filled with B-List jokes. Since the film offers a star-filled cast including Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, it's inevitably going to draw crowds and make some money. Yet, Kasdan's work is sure to leave moviegoers disappointed.
Bad Teacher follows a gold-digging, and recently dumped middle school English teacher named Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz). On the rebound and desperate to find a rich man, Halsey takes aim at a new substitute teacher with a wealthy family, named Scott Delacorte (Timberlake). Halsey will do whatever is necessary to win Delacorte's heart, even if he's falling for her nemesis, Amy Squirrel.
Bad Teacher is the type of movie you know you shouldn't see, but you do it anyway. And more times than not, those movies end up being a let down. This movie is no exception. Kasdan creates an absurd story around an unappealing character. Diaz does just enough to annoy you more than make you laugh. Even Justin Timberlake, whom I usually appreciate, gives a less than stellar performance. The film poorly develops its characters and its plot progresses unnaturally. You can't help but wonder, "what are they thinking?" during certain parts of the movie.
Despite it's blatantly obvious flaws, Bad Teacher still is a comedy and offers a few really funny scenes. However, when all is said and done, you should expect to hear more crickets than laughter. I suggest avoiding Bad Teacher and holding out for something better. You won't miss much here.
Stars: 1 out of 4