“Bad Teacher” Is Good Fun
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Who was your favorite teacher? Was it that buttoned-down sixth grade teacher who went by the book? That inspired high-school science teacher who made you see the world in a different way? Or that college professor who took the time to nurture your love of literature?
No matter. You will count Miss Halsey (Cameron Diaz) among your most memorable teachers. Why?
Because she’s such a BAD teacher.
In fact, that’s the name of the movie – “Bad Teacher” – the new comedy playing at the Tropic Cinema.
You see, Elizabeth Halsey doesn’t really want to be a teacher. She hates kids. As she hated school when she was a student. She wants to meet a well-to-do guy and get married. A guy like, say, that handsome substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake).
Now if she could only get Scott’s attention….
Maybe if she had a “big heart” like the former girlfriend whose picture he displays on his smart phone, that would do the trick. So she starts saving money to get a boob job. Washing cars in her Daisy Dukes, spraying water in an orgiastic frenzy to earn a few extra pennies.
Russell Gettis (Jason Segal) is the gym teacher who doesn’t have a shot at the leggy blonde. Or does he?
Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) is the other man-hungry teacher with her sights set on our boy Scott.
You’ll remember Cameron Diaz from the classic comedy “There’s Something About Mary.” She also voiced Princess Fiona in those animated “Shrek” movies. Yep, she was one of “Charlie’s Angels” too.
Justin Timberlake is the pop-singer-turned-actor who got a lot of notice for his turn in “The Social Network.” From TV’s “The New Mickey Mouse Club” to singing with ‘N Sync to ripping Janet Jackson’s top off during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show to guest hosting TV’s Saturday Night Live, his career has been on a roll. What makes him interesting here is that he and Diaz used to be an item (if you know what I mean), so the old chemistry keeps bubbling up.
Jason Segal is a regular on TV’s second funniest show, “How I Met Your Mother.” You’ve also seen him in several Judd Apatow comedies (“Knocked Up” to “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and heard him in “Despicable Me” as the supervillain with all those little yellow minions.
And you’ll recognize Lucy Punch as the wayward wife in Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”
IMO, “Bad Teacher” isn’t a bad movie if you like stories about redeemable baddies. This ought to be booked as a double feature with Billy Bob Thornton’s “Bad Santa.” Both flicks turn the tables on icons that we hold dear, teachers and St. Nick. Kinda the way “American Pie” gave us a whole ‘nother viewpoint about apple pie.
What next? Bad Mom? Bad Dog? Bad Date? Bad Wife? I think we’re onto something here.