July 11, 2011

Movie Quickie: Bad Teacher

I was actually looking forward to Bad Teacher. The trailers made the movie look like a delightfully cynical and mean spirited comedy. Yes, sometimes I like those sorts of films. I like movies that have a little edge to them and take things to the extreme. It is not that I was expecting this to be some great ode to vulgar and crass film making, but I was expecting something, well, entertaining. I went in looking at it like Bad Santa. You know, a movie that pushes the border of bad taste but still retains a humanity about it, a heart that actually means something. Sadly, Bad Teacher is not that movie.

Bad Teacher is a movie that has no heart, no humanity, and revels in its mean spiritedness. Not necessarily a problem, but there are no characters to really care about. Everyone here, save for Jason Segel's gym teacher, is played way over the top, not to the movie's benefit. Characters seem to flip flop between mean anti-hero and despicably nice, so much so that the audience flip flopped with them, never sure of who they were supposed to like and who they were supposed to hate.

The story is simple enough. Cameron Diaz is a gold digging junior high teacher named Elisabeth. Upon being dumped by her rich boyfriend, she turns her attentions towards a new substitute with a wealthy family (Justin Timberlake). In an effort to attract his attentions, Elisabeth sets out to get herself some breast enhancement surgery. This sets up confrontations with the school do-gooder, Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch).

Ugh. You know what happens, the trailers tell you the plot. There are no surprises, nothing special, and all the funny stuff is in the trailer. There is the expected moment where the mean teacher has a change of heart leading to the predicatable climax. Unfortunately, the moment is without real context and without any meaning or genuine emotion.

Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

Not Recommended.

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