Bad Teacher (2011) Film Review


Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a teacher, but god knows why. She comes to work stoned and hung-over, and her main aim is to get enough cash together for a boob job, then marry a wealthy man. She is under the watch of fellow teachers Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) who plays by the rules with an insanely happy demeanour and Russell Gettis (Jason Segal) who is clearly bemused by Elizabeth’s antics. But when Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) starts teaching at the school, there becomes a race for his romantic affection between the two ladies.

There is something about this film that really works for me. Perhaps it is the magnificent slapstick or the crass humour or just seeing JT in such a geeky and hilarious role. Or perhaps it is that when Elizabeth is tested, after showing no sense of caring about anyone or anything but herself, she doesn’t end up with an absolute heart of gold; yes, she comes through for the poetry-loving kid who embarrasses himself in front of the class, but not in a way that is in any sense appropriate for a teacher. And I loved that.