Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This has almost nothing to do with anything to do with this movie ĎBad Teacherí, but I just thought Iíd mention that I sat next to actor David Paymer, who makes what amounts to a high paid cameo in this movie, on a trip back from horrible Los Angeles a few months back. Yes, I was in first class. A very nice man that Mr. Paymer. Had I seen this movie before that trip I wouldíve asked him about his preparation process as a plastic surgeon for this role, a role that required him to cup and fondle an impressive pair Double Dís belonging to actress and former Playboy Centerfold Christine Smith. Mind you, as I was sitting next to the man he was voraciously writing notes all over the script of a movie he was going to be shooting in Ann Arbor so clearly this is a man who gets deep into his work. The research for his brief, albeit powerful role in ĎBad Teacherí must have been a mother fucker.

Anyway, in this little slice of amoral tastelessness we are introduced to Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz), who will be serving as our title character, which might be a bit of a misnomer. To be a bad teacher I think one actually has to teach, and thatís not something that Elizabeth Halsey does. Elizabethís plan was to quit her teaching gig and marry her wealthy boyfriend but alas, it was not to be. With nowhere else to turn, Elizabeth goes back to this school where she will show her sixth grade students, I think, a lot of movies, she will sleep, she will do drugs and she will drink herself silly.

Elizabeth figures to get her mojo back all she needs is a new set of tits, which course leads up to David Paymerís cameo, but fake tits are expensive and Elizabeth has no money. But fortunately for Elizabeth things are looking up as the school has just hired the completely vacuous, but old money wealthy substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), and he will be looking for a woman to fill his empty heart in short order.

The problem for Elizabeth, who has all kinds of problems, is one Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), the obsessive, slightly unhinged, overly dedicated teacher across the hall. Amy

knows Elizabeth is the worst teacher ever, though no one listens to her. She knows that Liz loves her some weed, though she canít prove it, and she knows that Elizabeth is trying to take her man from her. You see Amy has the inside track on Scott. Elizabeth has caught the attention of Russell the Gym Teacher (Jason Segel) who is putting on the full court press, but Russell has no money, just like Elizabeth has no money, and my uncle always told me that two ugly people should never get together and two broke people should never get together. Thatís what he told me.

But this movie is about Elizabethís quest to get up the money so she can get her new tits. She will embezzle, cheat, break laws, seduce, intoxicate, blackmail, drug and even try to teach to make this happen. However Elizabeth will learn that there are repercussions to this kind of behavior and that the important thing is not fake tits, but helping those around you that need the help the most. Thatís not even close to the truth, because the true message is that there are no repercussions to this kind of behavior and if fake tits, or anything that costs money, will make your life better, money that you donít have, then you had best get that money. No matter what.

Directed by Jake Kasdan, ĎBad Teacherí certainly had its moments of comedy. True enough, a lot of those moments can be seen in the trailer for this movie, but what can you do? I imagine the purpose of this film was to create something truly tasteless, something so in your face and edgy that it will bludgeon you into laughter. That didnít happen. The movie wasnít a complete failure by any means, but it wasnít nearly as funny, in my humble opinion, as Iím sure the filmmakers wanted it to be.

So since we only got sporadic laughter instead of wall to wall laughter, we are stuck thinking about stuff, which is never a good thing. What happened in Elizabethís life that made her such a bitter, mean money grubbing b? Why would a bitter, mean money grubbing bitch go into the profession of teaching of all things? Teaching. I know Elizabeth mentioned that the summers off are cool, but the pay is poor and you basically only have access to other poor people for potential mates. As tasteless as this movie mightíve been, I think it couldíve been even more tasteless. I mean there was a school full of adolescent kids to exploit for comedyís sake. And while hearing Cameron Diaz shout out ĎIím going to suck your dick like Iím mad ití was fascinating, on top of being something Iíve never experienced though I am keeping my fingers crossed, Cameron Diaz appears to have this ingrained kindness which overrides her ability to act like a bitter, mean money grubbing bitch. Of course I donít know personally Cameron Diaz and she could be complete monster, but did you see the way she was spoon feeding Alex Rodriguez? Thatís not something a mean person would do. If we were laughing all the way through this movie we wouldnít have been pondering all that stupid stuff.

ĎBad Teacherí was admittedly a bit of a disappointment. Funny at times, really funny at times actually, but not nearly as funny or even as brash as I thought it was going to be.

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