Bad Teacher (2011)

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher (2011)

Simply Bad

In years to come when film schools study why some movies don't work "Bad Teacher" could be one of those on the syllabus. I'm serious because on paper "Bad Teacher" sounds like it should be a success; it has an amusing idea and a good cast but the end result is a monotonous bore. Why? Well that is simple; characters which are islands, characters who are too over the top be it obnoxious or geeks and someone misguidedly thought that Cameron Diaz throwing sexual swear words about would be sexy and funny when it isn't.

After one year at John Adams Middle School Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz - Knight and Day) is leaving to get married, except her boyfriend has realised she's only marrying him for his money so dumps her. Forced to return to teaching the only thing on Elizabeth's mind is getting the money to pay for a boob job so that she can hook up with new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake - The Social Network) whilst fending off the advances of good guy gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel - I Love You, Man).

Lucy Punch and Justin Timberlake in Bad Teacher (2011)

So on paper "Bad Teacher" should be this comedy about a lazy teacher who starts obnoxious and self centred but comes good in the end. Unfortunately long before the end "Bad Teacher" has lost your interest thanks to various issues from misfiring jokes to a lack of chemistry. I'm not going in to depth but what is obvious is that someone thought that having one sexual swear word after another come out of Diaz's lips would be funny whilst having Diaz being very sexy, but it doesn't, it just ends up utterly desperate.

But the misfiring comedy is not the only problem as with the exception of Jason Segel as Russell Gettis the rest of the characters are annoyingly obnoxious. Diaz as Elizabeth despite looking sexy and pulling off the show stopping car wash scene is too nasty and never shows any softening till right at the last. Justin Timberlake is just too much of a geek as Scott whilst Lucy Punch is just too over the top quirky as over friendly teacher Amy Squirrel. And there is no chemistry between any of them and you almost wonder whether the actors didn't get on whilst making the movie or in some cases were even in the same room when shooting scenes.

What this all boils down to is that "Bad Teacher" is a bad movie which might entertain those who think swearing for no reason is funny but will be painful for anyone else. It's not that the idea was bad, just the execution and writing make it surprisingly unfunny.