Friday, June 24, 2011


Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Bad Teacher" staring Cameron Diaz.  Is it good to be bad?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

When I saw the trailer for Bad Teacher a few months ago, it looked like it was going to be hilarious; the fact that Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, and Justin Timberlake were in it definitely helped as well. Although it does bring a few laughs, the film was not as funny as I thought it would be, and it definitely does not live up to expectations.

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz, "The Green Hornet") has quit her teaching job and has a rich (albeit homely) fiancee; when he calls off the engagement, however, she has to go back to work at John Adams Middle School (JAMS for short). She wants to find a guy who will take care of her so that she doesn't have to work, so when Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake, "The Social Network") shows up, Elizabeth tries to win him over. Unfortunately, one of her fellow teachers, Amy (Lucy Punch, "Take Me Home Tonight") also has her eye on Scott. In addition, the school gym teacher, Russell (Jason Segel, "Gulliver's Travels") tries to woo Elizabeth (to which she flippantly responds: "Still a gym teacher? Then no."). Although Elizabeth definitely isn't a model teacher, we see her slowly start to warm up to her students, especially after her coworker Lynn (Phyllis Smith, TV's "The Office") tells her that the teacher with the best school scores on the state standardized test gets a $5700 bonus.

Justin Timberlake doesn't have a big part in the movie; my favorite characters were actually those of Jason Segel and Lucy Punch, who plays an absolutely crazy teacher. In the trailer, there is a scene where Diaz's character is being "sexy" (think slo-mo scenes while wearing short-shorts) while at a 7th grade car wash, and the principal suggests they have a car wash every weekend, to which Punch screams "That's bonkers!", which made me laugh. However, it turns out this scene was taken out of context in the trailer, which is disappointing (Punch yells that in a different scene in the actual movie). Diaz and Segel were fine but they didn't have much to work with in the script - there were definitely some funny parts, but most of the time I sat in the theater wondering when the movie would pick up.

Maybe see this film. If you are looking for a movie that has a few chuckles in it, then you would do fine in choosing this movie; however, I like my comedies to be funnier than having only the occasional laugh. The movie is short - it clocks in around 1 hour and 40 minutes - so that is good, and the plot was interesting, but surely the writers could have come up with a few more comedic lines for us to laugh at.

Bad Teacher is in theaters today, June 24th.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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