124. Bad Teacher (2011)

Could learn a thing or two

4/10
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Written by: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake

When the story of a rebellious teacher lacks the discipline needed for a well developed and funny film, we end up with money down the drain and time we’ll never get back. While Bad Teacher occasionally winks at potential to be an original and hilarious comedy, it fails to show a logical sense of progression and gets too tied up in its own temporarily clever plot twists to care about the message of the film and the character relationships that seriously need more TLC.

Let someone else do all the hard work

While other inspired teachers may ‘seize the day’ through their teaching, Elizabeth Halsley (Diaz) is an educator who is all about securing a comfortable and wealthy future for herself through boyfriends and husbands. Kicking back and letting her students simply watch movies for every single class, Elizabeth focuses on getting the money together for a boob job so that she can ensnare the affections of Scott (Timberlake), whose family money looks highly attractive in contrast to the advances of gym teacher, Russell (Segel).

But behind her selfishness and evil motivations, there is a side to Elizabeth that has all the qualities one needs to be a great teacher. It’s a shame that Bad Teacher, however, fails to fully develop its own protagonist by letting her get away with things that even the audience can recognise as undignified, and even more frustrating, incomplete. What is the point of setting up such naughty plans and intrigues when such ploys have no lesson learnt or mischief accomplished? Instead, Bad Teacher chooses to wash over any definite sense of transformation or resolution and settles for outcomes that are to be expected without going through the deeper connections and personal development that is required for such outcomes to be made possible. Distracted, clumsy and poorly constructed, Bad Teacher could learn a thing or two from other successful comedies.

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