Bad Teacher – Terrible Film

Bad Teacher

There aren’t many films that I really dislike. Most films, even the truly awful ones have some glimmer of enjoyment in them, some small spark of something that makes them at least watchable. I’ve seen films that the vast majority of people would call complete rubbish and wouldn’t touch with a barge pole, but I have managed to find something good in all of them.

Bad Teacher is not one of those films.

Cameron Diaz plays our titular teacher Elizabeth, who after her fiancé gets wise to the fact that she is only after him for his money, dumps her and she is forced to pick up her old teaching job. Where upon she decides that breast implants are just what she needs to hook that rich man she can live off forever. Justin Timberlake plays the drivellingly wet, but rich son of an empire that fits Elizabeth’s description of a meal ticket, and Jason Segal plays the gym teacher who (and I can imagine it is only for her body) finds her attractive despite (or maybe because) she has no interest in him at all.

Now, I like Cameron Diaz. I can’t think of any other film I’ve seen with her in it, that I have not enjoyed, but this is one hell of an example.

Firstly, this post may have spoilers in it, but if these spoilers stop one person watching this rubbish then it’s worth it.

My main problem with the film is that the main character, which pushes the idea of anti-hero to impossible levels, is fundamentally unlikeable on every conceivable level. She’s lazy, manipulative, disrespectful, and hurtful, with such ridiculously low self esteem its tragic more than funny. She plays movies for the students all week, turns up hung-over, takes drugs in the car park, cons money out of and steals from parents. Yeah, a really nice person, eh?

As far as I am concerned, characters as despicable as hers have only two routes, redemption or comeuppance. By the end of the film, she either had to have seen the error of her ways and become a better person or fallen foul to her own shallow nature and gets what she deserves, though apparently these endings were deemed inappropriate for our hapless and presumably under some heavy anesthetic at the time, scriptwriter.

Miss Squirrel (played by Lucy Punch) a bouncy energetic and ok fairly drippy but in a nice way teacher, was the target for Elizabeth’s venom, especially as Justin Timberlake’s character took a fancy to her and they started going out. Miss Squirrel knew what Elizabeth was doing, and of course nobody believed her. As she slowly drove herself mad with frustration, her career declined as Elizabeth’s grew. By the end Miss Squirrel had practically been framed for drug using, she had been split up from Justin and had been forced out of the school into a very bad inner city school.

So what did happen to Elizabeth then, the woman who had conspired against this innocent woman? Was she imprisoned? Was she forced out of the school? Did her life take such a bad turn that it would play as a lesson to anyone following her path through life?

No, she ended up working in the school as the Guidance Councillor, and started dating the gym teacher. Oh, but she did decide she might not need breast implants after all. That was it. No magnanimous gesture with the money she had practically stolen. There was no apology or feelings of guilt for what she had done to Miss Squirrel.

Sorry Cameron, I usually like what you do, but the drunk monkey in charge of the script gave you nothing to work with and even you couldn’t redeem this pile of crap.


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