Better than bad... just
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.
www. badteacher. com. au
Now showing Village Cinemas