Sort of a “Bad Santa” with teachers.
**** ½ out of 5
Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
Article first published as Movie Review: Bad Teacher on Blogcritics.
Expectations can be everything walking into any movie. While some have ad campaigns and an onslaught of TV commercials, teasers, and trailers that lead you to believe their movie is the next cinematic-Ali, others simply have to rely on what gets cast up on the screen. When the film you’re about to see comes from a very hit (TV’s “The Office”) or miss (“Year One”) team of writers, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, all you can do is let the film prove itself. Thankfully, under the hilarious direction of Jake Kasdan (son of Lawrence), “Bad Teacher” shows us that “Bridesmaids” aren’t the only ones out to earn our laughs this summer.
“The Green Hornet,” it’s about time she started earning her paychecks again.
Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) hasn’t always been a “Bad Teacher.” She may have done whatever she could to keep herself outcast, but it’s not until her fiancée Mark (Nat Faxon) calls off the wedding at his mother’s (Stephanie Faracy) insistence, that she spirals into the foul mouthed, pot smoking, Craigslist rooming, alcoholic, possibly nymphatic teacher that she becomes after returning to John Adams Middle School (or JAMS, as its called throughout the movie). While gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel) may have the hots for Elizabeth, she sets her sights on substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) even if he actually develops a crush on Elizabeth’s “across-the-hall-mate” Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch).
While the advertising for the film has been as hit and miss as the writer’s careers, personally I’ve always laughed at the TV spots and knew there was a great comedic cast on deck as well as an assured director. I’ve only laughed this hard and this often in one other movie this year (the already mentioned “Bridesmaids”) and while comedy is of course always subjective, here’s another one that’s a welcome break from the glutton of superheroes, 3-D, and CGI-laden flicks being thrown our way this summer.
Photos courtesy Columbia Pictures