Cameron Diaz, a negligent teacher, takes an interest in teaching after she realises that it can win her a cash prize that will help her in getting a breast enhancement surgery she wants so that she can marry a rich man. Read the entire review of Bad Teacher for more.
Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch.
What’s Good: A few comic scenes; the interesting characterisations of the less significant characters.
What’s Bad: The absence of a coherent and logical screenplay; the poorly-written climax; the lack of connect with the audience; a few gross scenes.
Verdict: Bad Teacher will not attract good footfalls at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: A couple in the latter half.
Watch or Not?: Watch only if you like light comedies that do not make much sense in the end.
Mosaic’s Bad Teacher is a comedy about the strange quest of a school teacher, who wants to marry a rich man at any cost.
Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a lonely woman who has just been dumped by a rich guy whom she was engaged to. In order to make a living, she gets back to working at a school, where she had spent the last year doing a mediocre job disinterestedly.
She starts off this year equally badly. She sleeps in class while her students are made to watch films on TV. She also consumes alcohol in class, smokes pot, harasses the children and pokes fun at them. Last but not the least, she is obsessed about putting together ten thousand dollars so that she can undergo breast enhancement surgery, in order to woo substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who hails from a wealthy family. But she has competition as their colleague, teacher Amy Squirrell (Lucy Punch), is also trying to get Scott’s attention. On the other hand, the school’s gym teacher, Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), is hitting on Elizabeth, but she ignores him. Some time later, Amy and Scott start seeing each other, much to the annoyance of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth’s teaching career takes a turn for the better when she realises that the teacher whose students score the best marks, stands to win a cash prize. Still fixated on getting the breast enhancement done, Elizabeth moves heaven and earth to get her kids tutored for the exams. When the kids fail to make the mark, she impersonates a journalist and steals the exam papers. Somewhere in between, she also manages to gain Scott’s attention. She becomes friendly with Russell too.
But Amy, who is keeping a track of Elizabeth’s activities, complains to the school principal, who, in turn, calls in the education superintendent. Elizabeth finds herself in a tight spot. Is she able to wriggle out of this situation? What about her dream of breast enhancement and building a relationship with Scott? What about Russell? What about her students? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Bad Teacher Review – Script Analysis
Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg’s story and screenplay are based on the notion that if you have a bad, hot lady do stupid things on-screen, the audience is going to enjoy the film. Yes, there is a certain section of the audience, especially teenagers of both the sexes who might find some appeal in such free-spirited activities, but for the majority of the Indian audiences, such things are anathema. Especially, since the film falls short in the writing department. Although the script is peppered with amusing characetrisations (except that of Elizabeth) and funny dialogues here and there, these do not make up for the absence of a coherent story. That Elizabeth gives up on her quest for big breasts and a moneyed boyfriend so easily in the climax is jarring and an out-of-turn development that is unpalatable for the viewer. Also, given the fact that this is a school movie, at least one or two students should have had memorable or interesting characterisations or important roles to enact but that doesn’t happen. Several scenes – including the one in which Elizabeth and Scott are dry-humping – make the audience wince.
A few well-written comedy scenes, especially in which Amy and Elizabeth are fighting a proxy war, are the only respite.
Bad Teacher Review – Star Performances
Cameron Diaz does a good job as the smart and sexy Elizabeth. She completely gets into the skin of the character. Lucy Punch, as the earnest yet jealous teacher, performs ably. Jason Segel is okay in a rather short role. Justin Timberlake does a fair job in a role that doesn’t require him to do much. Phyllis Smith (as the fat teacher) and John Michael Higgins (as principal) support well.
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