SYNOPSIS: In the new Cameron Diaz movie, Bad Teacher, she plays – you guessed it – a bad teacher! More concerned with hooking up with a wealthy co-worker (played by her real life ex, Justin Timberlake) than with her students, she doesn’t make much of an effort to actually educate until she learns there’s a cash bonus for the teacher with the highest classroom grade average.
Richard: Tony, having seen the red band trailer for Bad Teacher, I went in expecting a vulgar, funny swear fest along the same lines as The Hangover. Instead I got a funny, only somewhat vulgar movie that I think could have benefitted from a bit more raunch. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but my expectations were higher… or, I guess, lower. What did you think? (Remember you have big shoes to fill here!)
Tony: Well, first let me thank you for the opportunity to temporarily replace the vacationing Mark Breslin. I wanted to like this movie… so i did. From the opening song Teacher, Teacher by Rockpile, something I still have on original vinyl, to the great casting in even the smallest of roles to the sweet moments followed immediately by gross sight gags to the nicely paced direction by Jake Kasdan, Bad Teacher had a little bit of everything. But it could have had a lot more raunch, you’re right.
Richard: Yeah, it seems a bit afraid to go all the way. Diaz’s character, desperate, pretty on the outside but ugly underneath, is an odd character to hang a comedy on, but she pulls it off. She’ll never be the funny, fresh face she was in There’s Something About Mary and The Mask, and for this movie that’s a good thing. The very slight patina of age and experience in her manner adds some extra desperation to Elizabeth. Having said that, I don’t think this movie would work nearly as well without the supporting cast. You?
Tony: The cast was incredible. Justin Timberlake really shines here. Jason Segel, John Michael Higgins, Phyllis Smith from The Office, they do their usual, great characters, but Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family played opposite to what you would expect, to really funny results. The only sad thing was the grossly underused Molly Shannon. It’s sad. If she was 15 years younger, she’d have been perfect to play Lucy Punch’s Amy Squirrel character, who I felt was doing a great Molly Shannon.
Richard: The supporting cast don’t exactly rescue this movie–it doesn’t need rescuing–but without them, Bad Teacher wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
Tony: It is very funny if you can allow your suspension of disbelief to ignore the premise that Cameron Diaz’s character actually worked at the school for a full year and gets hired back to have the shenanigans in this movie.
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