Bad Teacher

Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, and Jason Segel

In the wake of the immensely successful Bridesmaids, it's nice to see another comedy with a leading lady.  Although Cameron Diaz has been out of the comedy game for quite a while, her most notable foray into the genre led to the modern classic There's Something About Mary.  In her latest film Bad Teacher, things are a little different.  The guys aren't chasing her. This time around, she's chasing them.

Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) has found the one thing in life that makes her happy — money.  She's marrying a rich guy, so she can quit her job as a teacher at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) and do whatever the hell she wants to do.  It sounds too good to be true, and it is.  Her fiancee's mom realizes that she's a gold digger and saves her son from a lifetime of heartbreak.  With the wedding off, Elizabeth must now return to JAMS and look for another rich guy to take care of her.  Having no interest in actually teaching, Elizabeth resumes her post as a 7th grade teacher out of necessity.

Her disinterest in her students is apparent in the classroom.  She doesn't prepare any lessons.  She doesn't show any concern whatsoever for her students' well-being.  The only thing she's interested in is finding another guy.  When wealthy substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) enters the picture, Elizabeth sets her sights squarely on him.  There's just one problem.  She's got some competition — fellow teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch).

Bad Teacher is a fun film.  You certainly get a satisfying comedy with a few laugh-out-loud moments.  As enjoyable as it is though, it could have been better.  The problem is that Cameron Diaz is an actress.  She's not a comedian.  Ultimately, she's not the one bringing most of the laughs in the film.  It's the supporting cast that gets the job done.  Thank Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, and especially John Michael Higgins for the biggest chuckles in the movie.  Don't thank Justin Timberlake though.  His character Scott Delacorte should be much funnier than he actually is during the film.

Bad Teacher has its problems, but it's still a pretty entertaining film.  It's a good movie that never lives up to its potential.  It even honors some past flicks where the classroom takes center stage (e.g. Lean on Me, Dangerous Minds).  As a movie buff, I definitely appreciate these references.  This decent flick gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.