Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Let me begin by saying that I'm not a fan of the latest craze in movie comedy. For some reason the success of one movie that featured extreme vulgarity (THE HANGOVER) has resulted in numerous movies being released that seem to think the funniest parts were due to the rudeness of the language or visuals used. The fact is the funny parts commented on those items or around them but they were never the funny parts. That being said is BAD TEACHER a funny movie? In short, yes.
Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth Halsey, a teacher with little to offer. She's just marking time until she gets married to a rich available husband. While this is supposed to be her last year, her engagement collapses and she returns the next. Looking for a solution she decides that the reason she can't catch a top notch available male is because her breasts aren't big enough. She opts for augmentation but can't afford it and thus the main idea behind the movie kicks in, her trying to find a way to make the money.
At the school an overachieving teacher is found across the hall from Elizabeth. Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) is that do gooder type person who is filled with all sorts of goofy sayings and feel good quotes. Yes, she's most obnoxious. And of course Elizabeth takes an immediate disliking to her.
Falling in between the two is new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) who happens to be the grandson of an expensive watch maker. The dollar signs flash and Elizabeth is ready to set her trap. Unfortunately for her Amy makes her move first and the competition is on.
While this is happening Elizabeth does her best to make it through each day failing to inspire or teach any student who happens to fall in her path. Instead she simply plugs in the TV and shows her class movies that involved teachers like STAND AND DELIVER and LEAN ON ME. When she discovers that the teacher who has the students with the highest grades in a state wide test wins a check for over $5,000 she makes the decision to start teaching and hope it works.
Complications and skullduggery come into play as well as a revenge seeking Amy. But along the way Elizabeth ends up helping some of her students. She helps them find their way through the terrible time known as Junior High. And she finds something more in herself as well. She also happens to unknowingly find someone else in the school's gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel). How it all ends makes for some funny moments.
So the story along with the numerous laughs interspersed throughout is the good part. What's the bad? If you were paid a quarter for every time the F bomb or vulgar word for breasts were uttered you would be able to fill a theater with patrons. For some reason Hollywood seems to think this makes it funnier. It doesn't and the shock value wore off on me back in Junior High when that sort of thing was funny. Granted there are occasion when the words can elicit some great laughs (think PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES or George Carlin's famous piece on the 7 dirty words) but when its just tossed in over and over it becomes annoying.
Diaz does a decent job here but she needs to rely on more than her looks to get her through a movie. While watching her talk about trying to save up enough money for plastic surgery one can't help but wonder if she's had her face done and if so where did that cash come from? Timberlake is showing that he can actually act and do a good job in comedy and drama. A Segel is a wonder, offering a subtle portrayal here of a goofy yet loveable guy. His is the most realistic portrayal of the bunch. Punch shows that she has the chops to pull of some great comedic moments and is someone I'm looking forward to seeing again. After some great bit parts in some hilarious movies its nice to see her star rising.
All in all if you can get past the language barrier this movie is funny more often than not. But know ahead of time if you are easily offended then this is not the movie for you. For everyone else, sit back and have a laugh.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age