Bad Teacher (2011)
Reviewed on 2012 February 25
I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare or anything when I watched this, but there was nothing really funny about it. The title conveys a portion of what you’re going to get, but “miserable, snotty person who coasted through life on her looks and has no other redeeming qualities now wants a sugar daddy” wouldn’t fit on the marquee. This may be your thing; I’m just telling you I hated it.
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a nightmare of a teacher, marking time and showing movies in class instead of, oh I dunno, teaching, until she can get her wealthy fiance to marry her. The fiance smartens up and gets rid of her. Good call. She may be beautiful, but she’s a gold-digger, not to mention plain nasty. Not realizing that her problems stem from the fact that she has the personality of a broken filling, Elizabeth goes back to work for what she thinks will change her whole life: A boob job to snag another rich dude.
This notion is reinforced when she meets the nerdy but loaded substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), do-gooder and heir to a watch fortune. There’s a fly in the ointment though. She has a nemesis named Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), a super-duper perky-werky ray of sunshine whose superficial happiness hides a ball of neuroses. The saccharine Amy thinks she’s a shoe-in for a cash prize for being “bestest teacher ever”. Elizabeth, wanting the money to buy her implants, has other plans for her.
There are people that will tell you to lighten up if you don’t enjoy this movie. That’s not the problem. Bridesmaids was funny. Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle was actually raunchier than this, and I had to keep re-watching portions of it because I was laughing so hard I missed stuff the first time. This was like slowly pulling off a Band-Aid®. The dialogue was weak, the outcome was spotted from a mile away, and pretty much all the characters were so unlikable that my Give-A-Crapometer™ didn’t budge. Pitting two women against each other is such a cliché; a plot device to somehow have Amy and Elizabeth working together to split the prize might have been interesting, but I guess that’s too original, and therefore scary. The only thing that made me laugh was Justin singing his opus “Sympatico” — not nearly enough to make this worth it for me.