An unladylike lead character and crude comedy is what makes ‘Bad Teacher’.
Cameron Diaz, who plays the lead in the film, has been at her wicked best as an actor. A teacher guzzling booze, swearing at children and being mean is an unlike thing to see.
A performer with a gift for light comedy and a comically ductile face that can work in fascinating counterpart to her rocking hot body (as her character would say), Ms. Diaz has found her down-and-dirty element in the kind of broad comedy that threatens to get ugly and more or less succeeds on that threat.
There’s no hint of how nasty Ms. Diaz, or rather her character, Elizabeth, can be when you first see her tucked into a dreary field of other middle-school teachers, standing out like a yellow rose…with thorns.
It’s the last day of class and she’s out of there forever, peeling out in a sports car that takes her right back home to the meal ticket she calls her fiancé. But before she can cash that ticket he’s gone, leaving her stranded and forced back into teaching, a profession for which she’s so constitutionally unsuited it borders on the criminal.
Nothing she does really crosses the line except getting stoned at school and maybe bouncing a ball off the heads of students who don’t answer her questions correctly.
There’s also the black bra that she whips off in inappropriate and possibly illegal circumstances along with the airline-size bottles of hooch she keeps tucked in her classroom desk.
About all she doesn’t do wrong is sleep with her students, though that may be because she’s too busy narrowing her sights on the only prospect in view, a new teacher, Scott (Justin Timberlake), a bore with family money who wears bowties without irony. So she smiles, battles a rival, Amy (Lucy Punch), and ignores a more suitable love interest, Russell (Jason Segel).
‘Bad Teacher’ is rated R. (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Because indeed the teacher is very bad teacher.
Rating: Three cheers for this one!