Grae Drake
Bad Teacher Review

Grae's Rating:


It's Bad, but like Michael Jackson Bad.

Who's In It: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins

The Basics: Elizabeth (Diaz) is the kind of teacher you are terrified your kids will waste a school year with--she's lewd, drug-addicted, and doesn't have any desire to actually teach anything. When her plans to marry into money fail, she is forced to go back to work shaping the minds of impressionable youth. In order to catch the man of her dreams, she convinces herself she needs breast implants and begs, borrows, and steals her way into raising money to that end (except she doesn't beg or borrow). She sets her sights on a rich substitute teacher (Timberlake), and in the process, invokes the righteousness of a goody-goody colleague across the hall (Punch).

What's The Deal: This was exactly the kind of sharp-edged comedy I needed to see at this point in the summer. After sitting through a few major disappointments, I found this movie delivered exactly what the trailer promised (and more). I laughed so hard I got self-conscious about disturbing other people in the theater. I soon forgot about being polite, because the combination of these performers along with this naughty script completely engulfed me in a wave of incorrigible fun.

Another One For The List: Cameron Diaz is now officially on my roster of Hot Talented Actresses Who Should Stop Being in Romantic Comedies So Much, alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez. This was pretty much the perfect role for her, a good-looking-but-jaded cynic who is acutely aware of the young, taut golddiggers hot on her heels. Her eyes, usually full of wistful glances in other lame movies, look positively reptilian in this movie. I found myself creeped out and delighting in her unavoidable downfall at every moment. She's not exactly a character you root for, but she makes being bad really entertaining to watch.

What About The Men?: Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake are fantastic supporting cast members. Timberlake, with his awful singing and Mr. Perfect demeanor is a perfect balance to Segel, who manages to make the position of gym teacher cooler than it's been in a long time (with a nod to Glee's Sue Sylvester, of course). He sneaks into scenes and goes unnoticed until he throws out a zinger line that makes him one of the best characters. It made me even more excited for his upcoming Muppet movie.

Mustn't Forget: Lucy Punch adds a great flavor to this. She is every bit as good as John Ritter in Bad Santa as the good guy that gets on your last nerve. Punch seemed to have a strong current of Crazy Lava running underneath her fragile goody-two-shoes crust that seemed like it was going to leak out at any second.


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