What 'Bad Santa' was to those numerous Santa-themed movies, 'Bad Teacher' is to almost every "inspirational teacher" cliche movie, except in the former's case it actually worked while this one falls flat on its face as another brilliant example of great marketing but poor product. From the trailers and the posters I was expecting an all-out rude & rowdy comedy not afraid to throw some punches but the only thing this entire one does is entice yawns.
Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) is a high school teacher with any imparting any kind of education as the last thing on her mind; she is desperate to find herself a "sugar daddy". After a broken engagement the perfect opportunity presents itself in the form of Scott (Justin Timberlake) a very wealthy substitute teacher. Liz however isn't the only one after Scott as she faces competition from "Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes" Amy (Lucy Punch) while also rebuking the advances of the gym teacher, Russell (Jason Segel). Elizabeth somehow convinces herself that "increasing her assets" will help her bag Scott so she tries every possible trick in the book right down to trying to become a better teacher to pay for that expensive cosmetic surgery. Is there a lesson to be learnt for Elizabeth at the end of it all? Does she turn over a new leaf? Who cares?
The effort to turn Elizabeth into a highly unlikable and offensive character never feels credible. It's far too out there to resonate as a real personality; it oscillates so easily between two extremes of being totally amoral to suddenly "giving a damn" that both seem utterly one-dimensional based on the need of a "strictly-by-the-numbers" script. The offensiveness of the character which seemed amplified in the trailers is much tamer and bland here by comparison.
So while the movie drones on aimlessly, you are likely to find yourself waiting for all the promised debauchery that the trailers and marketing promised, none of it arrives; if anything this movie could have helped from spicing things up a bit, most of all the script & dialogues.
Cameron Diaz tries but is pretty much hampered by a one-note character. Justin Timberlake & Lucy Punch get a few good lines and moments but overall have little to do, ditto for Jason Segel who is mostly wasted otherwise.
'Bad Teacher' thankfully doesn't quite do a redemption tale like most other films but that's about it, everything else is so bland and boring here that you'd be tempted to doze off halfway through. Give this one a miss.