Bad Teacher

As someone who is studying to become a teacher one day, I was very interested in seeing the new Cameron Diaz movie, “Bad Teacher.” Now, I’m not usually the type of person to run out and see these types of movies, but I went to see it, if nothing else, to hopefully pick up a pointer or two, and maybe a laugh if I was lucky. How did this comedy rank? Here’s the verdict on “Bad Teacher.”

The Good;

• I absolutely loved Diaz’s character. Ms. Halsey is nothing short of a vile, self-centered, evil spirited, scheming, whore; and I absolutely loved her. The lines she would come off with and the things she would do were absolutely shocking and hilarious. In spite of it all, I found myself on her side at the end. To wind up liking a character like that shows skill on the writer’s part.

• The other characters in the film, although less engaging and dynamic, served as entertaining stock characters. Justin Timberlake played the role of the attractive and rich, though dorkey and off beat substitute teacher convincingly, and Jason Seigel’s role as the grungy and apathetic gym teacher was also entertaining. However, Lucy Punch’s role as Ms. Squirrel, the oh-so over the top friendly and unbearably chipper psycho teacher was the other stand out role.

• Was this film funny? Absolutely! Parts had me cracking up in the theater. Much of the humor is wildly politically incorrect, Notable scenes; the…”sex?” scene between Diaz and Timberlake’s character, the car-wash scene in which Ms. Halsey gets a little “Daisy Duke,” and the many zingers pulled by Diaz’s character.

The Bad;

• At one point, the plot takes a turn from the plausible to the wildly unlikely when Ms. Halsey attempts to steal the answers to a standardized test. Although it did serve to advance the plot, I honestly felt that it threw the story into a place that it didn’t need to, nor should have gone. It was a definite “yeah right” moment that I could have done without.

• At a certain point in the film, the characters began to become almost a parody of themselves. As a result, many of the situations and jokes could be seen from a mile away, ruining much of the surprise.

• Maybe it’s just because I want to be a teacher someday, but I honestly felt that the film should have had something resembling a moral. Yes, Ms. Halsey gives us a dose of reality when she tries to comfort one of her students, stating that its often difficult to fit in, and that High School sucks for most. However, this moral falls short in the plot, and is ultimately overshadowed by the moral “do whatever you want. Lie, cheat, scheme, and use people to get there, and eventually, you’ll get what you want.” Its not necessarily the moral I want associated with any sort of teacher movie.

The Verdict; 3/5
While far from a masterpiece, Bad Teacher is quite entertaining, and definitely good for a few laugh out loud moments. The characters are interesting, if a bit stereotypical, and very well acted; I give credit to the cast. Cameron Diaz shines brightly as the love-to-hate Ms. Halsey, and the rest play their parts well. Although the story line is a bit off the wall, this situational comedy is definitely worth watching!

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