Now Playing: ‘Bad Teacher’ = A Finely Tuned Re-imagining of ‘Bad Santa’

Surprisingly, the writers of ‘Year One‘ have actually written a funny comedy. Even if it took stealing the plot of ‘Bad Santa‘ and changing the gender of the central character to do it, they finally produced something of note. They took a decent dark comedy, made it a tad lighter, and turned it into a worth-watching R-rated comedy.

Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, a seventh grade teacher who suffers through “teaching” kids while on the prowl for a wealthy man to take care of her – he doesn’t even have to be attractive. When John Adams Middle School hires new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), both good-looking and shockingly rich, Elizabeth moves in for the kill. Fresh out of a bad relationship, Scott shoots Elizabeth down, saying that he isn’t over his large-breasted ex. Elizabeth, being completely vain, believes that all it takes to win him over is a boob-job.

In a somewhat episodic fashion, ‘Bad Teacher’ is mainly about Elizabeth trying to make the $10,000 that the new boobs will cost. Along the way, she makes an arch-enemy (Lucy Punch from ‘Dinner For Schmucks‘ and ‘Hot Fuzz‘), shoots down relentless advances from a fellow pot-head teacher (Jason Segel), and brutally belittles everyone she comes in contact with – even her students.

From the red-band trailer, it appeared like ‘Bad Teacher’ was following the bad example of ‘Your Highness’ by relying purely on foul language for comedic content. To our advantage, it does not. As well as featuring plenty of vulgar dialogue, ‘Bad Teacher’ is stuffed with genuine comedy. Although not nearly as original as this year’s earlier R-rated comedy ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Bad Teacher’ is certainly more worthy of your money and time than ‘The Hangover Part II’.

Rating: ★★★★☆


    • Luke Hickman

      I may be in the minority, but I thought ‘Bad Santa’ was just okay. I’ll endorse this one.

      And at least ‘Bad Teacher’ has a higher RT rating than ‘Cars 2!’

  1. M. Enois Duarte

    I don’t know. I trust your judgment Luke, but something about ‘Bad Santa’ set in middle school is far too much of a stretch.

    First, I have to believe that Cameron Diaz is intelligent enough to teach a class or even be interested in reading a book. Then I have to believe she can keep the job in spite of the way she behaves.

    The suspension of disbelief required for this movie seems like more than I can afford. I do love a good comedy though, so I’m sure I’ll watch it sooner or later.

    • Luke Hickman

      Actually, you never have to believe those things – because she never does them! Trust me, you don’t have to suspend your disbelief at all.

      • TJ Kats

        My wife and I enjoyed this a lot. One thing they didn’t do that a lot of comedies like this do and hurt the movie is there was no drawn out 20-25 minutes at the end of the movie where she had some breakthrough discovery that changed her life. That was the one thing about Bridesmaids for example that we didn’t like was that it was very strong and kind of died at the end.

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