MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Teacher
Raunchy movie for the start of summer
Based on commercials, you prepare to hate Bad Teacher, the same way you hated that teacher the first day of class, simply because you thought you could tell everything about them by the way they dressed.
The commercials usually have the funniest scenes, yet in those spots, I laughed one and a half times.
This movie is being compared to Bad Santa; perhaps because they both have “bad” in their titles and drop a lot of F-bombs.
The fact that Segel doesn’t just play the schlub gym teacher vying for Cameron Diaz, but a guy that’s actually hip and cares about the students, was refreshing. Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) plays the slob roommate of Diaz, but he isn’t that annoying movie cliché roommate that makes you wonder why the character would live with him for more than two weeks. The moments of subtle humor with him are better than over-the-top jokes that might not work. One of those moments has him walking out of the apartment and mentioning her being a nurse. Diaz replies, “I’m not a nurse, I’m a teacher.” He seems confused by this as he walks out the door. Just the idea that a roommate wouldn’t know what the other person did for a living is funny to me.
One actor that pops up in a lot of comedies is Thomas Lennon of Reno 911. He has a few funny moments, one of which has him defending the school tests that were deemed “racially biased.”
But Lucy Punch stole this movie. As the perky teacher that seems to get under everyone’s skin, she was perfectly cast.
There are some scenes that start off cute and end strong. One being Diaz and Justin Timberlake dancing and singing along to the song "867-5309". Segel awkwardly tells them about the similar song he’s writing (867-5229, extension 777).
There are a few things in the movie that are never explained, such as why if Timberlake is rich, he’s a substitute teacher.
A lot of this movie could’ve been funnier – but it certainly had the same number of laughs as Bridesmaids – which is the raunchy comedy getting all the love from the critics this year.
Some critics have complained that Cameron Diaz isn’t likeable. So what. Other critics have complained Diaz isn’t suited for comedy. She’s fine in this, although a few more funny lines would’ve helped. She was certainly funny in There’s Something About Mary (and one of her jokes about “helping bums at the shelter” was a direct rip-off from that movie).
Director Jake Kasdan (who did the unfunny Walk Hard) could certainly use a few tips from his talented dad Lawrence (The Big Chill, Silverado, Grand Canyon, Wyatt Earp).
The movie had a few jokes fall flat, but I thought the amount of times I laughed in the 90-minute movie warrants a passing grade.
But, perhaps I’m grading Bad Teacher on a curve, having recently seen the lackluster Hangover 2, and somewhat disappointing Bridesmaids.