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Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick Review: Bad Teacher

I was sort of looking forward to "Bad Teacher," starring Cameron Diaz in the title role. It begins on the last day of the previous school year, when Diaz's Elizabeth Halsey -- foulmouthed, drinking, drug-using teacher that she is -- is leaving her job because she's getting married to her wealthy boyfriend. His mother helps put a stop to it, so Elizabeth is back in school in September, and so is a new substitute, Scott, (Justin Timberlake) who is earnest and squeaky clean. In the same way she rebuffs the gym teacher's (Jason Segel) interest, Elizabeth isn't interested in Scott, until she notices his expensive watch and learns his family owns the company. Elizabeth is interested. Very interested. (Now I ain't saying she a gold digger, but...okay, Kanye, take it from here.) There are lots of individual funny lines and scenes, and Elizabeth's turn from showing movies all day to taskmaster (taskmistress?) -- when she learns of a cash prize awarded to the teacher whose students score highest in the state's standardized testing -- is played for comedy and not serious, personal-improvement inspiration. It falls short of "Bridesmaids" in the R-rated comedy department, but it's not bad. My grade: B.

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