Bet­ter than bad... just

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

THOUGH it ap­pears not to have spent too much time hit­ting the com­edy text­books,

Bad Teacher scrapes by with a pass mark.

This un­am­bi­tious chuck­ler dumps on to the screen what­ever hap­pens to be cross­ing its dirty mind at the time.

In the hope of dis­tract­ing pun­ters who might not nor­mally fall for some of the fee­ble filth on of­fer here, there is also a stereo­type-shat­ter­ing per­for­mance by Cameron Diaz to be stud­ied.

The nov­elty value of watch­ing the fa­mously sweet’n’sunny Diaz turn­ing all sour’n’sullen to play an ed­u­ca­tor from hell does wear off quicker than the film­mak­ers have clearly ex­pected.

Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther the script nor the sup­port­ing cast are ca­pa­ble of mak­ing up the short­fall.

And so, while Bad Teacher never quite feels like de­ten­tion, when the jokes fail to fire, you be­gin to hope the fi­nal bell will soon ring.

On the story front, class is dis­missed from the get-go.

Diaz plays El­iz­a­beth Halsey, a slutty, smutty teacher who is only in the ed­u­ca­tion game be­cause of the hours and the hol­i­days.

The more free time she has, the more hope El­iz­a­beth has of land­ing her­self a rich hus­band.

Miss Halsey does not dis­crim­i­nate when it comes to iden­ti­fy­ing an ideal part­ner. As long as the guy has a pulse and a cheque­book, the rest doesn’t mat­ter.

It is what doesn’t mat­ter to El­iz­a­beth that sup­plies Bad Teacher with much of its du­bi­ous hu­mour.

You name it and she couldn’t care less about it. Most of her lessons in­volve putting on a movie for her stu­dents. Po­lite con­ver­sa­tion is pep­pered with the det­o­na­tion of F-bombs blasted at old and young alike. Dress stan­dards are that of a pole dancer be­tween shifts.

It might be an ob­vi­ous com­par­i­son to make, but it is an apt one: Bad Teacher is pretty much a re­verse-gen­dered, al­ter­nate-oc­cu­pa­tion re-boot of the Billy Bob Thorn­ton cult com­edy Bad Santa.

How­ever, where Bad Santa had the courage of its con­vic­tions to go deep into the don’t-go-there zone, Bad

Teacher turns out to be sur­pris­ingly meek by the clos­ing act.

A sud­den change ( or is that ac­qui­si­tion?) of heart by El­iz­a­beth sees

Bad Teacher make an un­likely play at the sem­blance of a feel­good end­ing.

It’s a tough ask to go along with, but it does mean the end­ing hap­pens a mite quicker by do­ing so.

Aside from Diaz’s er­ratic lead per­for­mance, the only mi­nor player of note is her real-life ex Justin Tim­ber­lake ( pic­tured with Diaz and Ja­son Segel), play­ing a cashed-up fel­low teacher who al­most falls for El­iz­a­beth’s de­vi­ous charms.

LEIGH PAATSCH

www. badteacher. com. au

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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