Bad Teacher (2011)

Bad Teacher
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel

Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) dreams only of one thing: marrying rich and never having to work as a teacher again. She seems to have achieved her goal, but then her fiancé dumps her. So Elizabeth takes up teaching again and sets her mind on a new pair of boobs – that is sure to bring her the success she seeks. And when she meets Scott (Justin Timberlake), heir and new teacher at her school, she seems to have found her next target. But that puts her directly in competition with Amy (Lucy Punch), who is basically the exact opposite of Elizabeth.

I didn’t expect much of this film and therefore wasn’t really disappointed. It’s okay, it even made me really laugh a couple of times, but other than that it was pretty meh.

The parts that really worked were where they made fun of this certain stereotypical type of teacher (that despite the exaggerations feels very realistic): well-meaning, square but convinced that they’re swimming against the current and are completely alternative, also thinking that they are open and know so much about the world while saying the most prejudiced things. Plus, they never get that they’re completely uncool. Both Lucy Punch and Justin Timberlake played that wonderfully and the movie really gets some nice punches in.

Jason Segel is also really good and Cameron Diaz is quite funny but both their characters just don’t achieve the heights that Scott and Amy do. They really are the best thing about the film.

I have to admit that I’m a bit torn about Elizabeth as a character: Yes, she is every bad stereotype about women wanting to marry rich and just thinking about getting bigger boobs and leading a lazy life and using her sexuality to get everything that she wants rolled into one. But they also cast her as the protagonist of the story and made her the character to relate to, so they nicely undermine the evilness of those stereotypes. Which is pretty cool.

Deep and thoughtful entertainment is something else and it really didn’t need to be any longer than it was. But then again you don’t always need depth and it wasn’t any longer, so that worked out fine.

Summarising: Watchable.

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