Blu-Ray Review: ‘Bad Teacher’ With Cameron Diaz Isn’t Very Good

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CHICAGO – Everyone in “Bad Teacher” is talented and they all do good work here but it’s one of those weird films that never develops an overall comic timing. Every time it feels like it’s about to find a groove and develop a rhythm, there’s a scene that just doesn’t work. It’s a moderately entertaining rental that isn’t nearly as entertaining as its trailers made it out to be.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

There’s not a weak link in the main cast of “Bad Teacher” and stars Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, and especially Lucy Punch are actually quite good here but they can only do so much to rescue a deeply-flawed script that can’t decide just how dark and edgy it wants to be. Compared to the similarly-titled “Bad Santa,” this is pretty safe stuff and one wonders if there wasn’t a much-darker version of this story that got watered down to make producers happy. The end is also a bizarre change of character motivation with a love story jammed in and a character who quickly learns some lessons that don’t exactly feel genuine.

Diaz stars as the title character, a woman who we’re supposed to loathe but who the writers never quite take far enough over the edge to make a true anti-hero. She’s just shallow, not really all that bad. The film opens with her split from her latest gold-digging attempt, forcing her to go back to work as a crappy teacher. With her radar always up, she spots a substitute (Justin Timberlake) who has the looks and silver spoon she thinks will make her happy. Lucy Punch nearly steals the film as a rival teacher and Jason Segel delivers in a small role made larger by a slightly-unbelievable final act.

Everyone in “Bad Teacher” does their best but the movie never feels like more than a collection of bits. It doesn’t have characters, arc, or continuity like we’ve come to expect in great comedies. Within those scenes, the cast keep the movie relatively entertaining but it’s an immensely forgettable work, even more moments after you see it. With a cast this strong, “Bad Teacher” could have been a great comedy instead of merely a barely-good one.

Bad Teacher was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 18th, 2011
Bad Teacher was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 18th, 2011
Photo credit: Sony

Synopsis:
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a foulmouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate teacher. She drinks, gets high, and can’t wait to marry a meal ticket to get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiance, she sets her sights on a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) while shrugging off the advances of the school gym teacher (Jason Segel). The consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, coworkers, and even herself an education like no other!

Special Features:
o JAMS Yearbook: Hidden Moments - Interactive yearbook featuring outtakes with the cast
o 3 Additional Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
o Gag Reel
o Deleted Scenes
o Outtakes
o Way Behind the Scenes with Jason and Justin
o Raising More Than Funds
o movieIQ+sync
o BD Live Enabled

“Bad Teacher” stars Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, John Michael Higgins, Thomas Lennon, and Jason Segel. It was directed by Jake Kasdan and released by Sony on Blu-ray and DVD on October 18th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Gman's picture

Frontier Days

I loved it when Scott rejects Elizabeth in the hotel because she got what she deserved. Matt Besser did a great job too as Abraham Lincoln. I grew up in Indiana and they had frontier days with a place like the one I visited in Illinois. I guess they have those kinds of places everywhere.

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