Plot summary (from the studio): Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a foulmouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate teacher. She drinks, gets high, and can’t wait to marry a meal ticket to get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her sights on a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) while shrugging off the advances of the school gym teacher (Jason Segel). The consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, coworkers, and even herself an education like no other!
Warning: Spoilers below!
- I thought Jason Segel was the best part of the entire movie. He is kind of annoying as Marshall these days on How I Met Your Mother, but he’s usually pretty likable in his film roles. His turn as the funny, competent gym teacher — the only sane one at the school — gets a thumbs up from me.
- I liked that the movie was only 88 minutes long and didn’t have any extraneous scenes. There’s something to be said for films that get right to the point and stay on topic.
- What kind of message were the screenwriters sending here??? I know, I shouldn’t expect a “dark comedy” to have a good message, but why did everything work out for Ms. Halsey? We learned that if you lie, cheat, and steal, you end up with the nice guy at the end. Meanwhile, if you do your job the right way and try to keep others on the straight and narrow (like Ms. Squirrel did), you deserve to be ridiculed and fired. WTF???
- Justin Timberlake’s character was kind of funny at first, but then he just ended up being creepy in a totally unfunny way. The writers could have gone in many different directions with him, but I think they made the wrong choice.
- Why would Mr. Gettis (the Segel character) even want Ms. Halsey after seeing all the stuff she did on the job, to the students, and with Timberlake’s character? That made no sense to me.
- I know Ms. Halsey becoming a guidance counselor at the school was supposed to be funny, but again that simply made no sense. That’s a step up from teaching in terms of authority and pay, and she did absolutely NOTHING to warrant a promotion. I guess it’s too much to ask that a comedy feature plot points that are remotely plausible.
I actually hadn’t heard many reviews about Bad Teacher, so I didn’t have any expectations one way or the other before seeing this. Although there are some funny parts, Elizabeth Halsey is so totally unlikable and lacks any kind of redeeming quality that it was hard to watch her get everything she wanted. I give this film 2 stars out of 5.