Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bad Teacher

Movie Name: Bad Teacher
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins,  Jillian Armenante, Thomas Lennon, Eric Stonestreet
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2

Jake Kasdan has a great pedigree as a filmmaker: he is the son of the great and underrated Lawrence Kasdan (who directed "The Big Chill", "Silverado", "Accidental Tourist" and "Grand Canyon" to name but a few). He has also directed the funny and little seen "The TV Set", with David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver. "Bad Teacher" follows the story of Elizabeth Halsey. Elizabeth is a teacher and a gold digger, whose marriage to a rich man falls flat once he realizes she is after his money. Forced to teach for another year, Elizabeth decides to firstly get bigger breasts and secondly find another man who will be a good provider for her. In order to achieve these goals, Elizabeth lies, manipulates, steals and seduces whomever crosses her path. 
This comedy which is desperately trying to be anti-politically correct,  runs out of interesting moments and situations very quickly. The writers clearly have not realized that humor does not come from simply using foul language. Cameron Diaz tries her best to be rude and crude, but the film always falls flat and unconvincing - her teacher isn't just bad, she's ultimately not interesting at all. Justin Timberlake as the object of her affection is considerably worse - his comedic timing is null (as is his acting). The only actor having some fun with the whole situation is Jason Segel, who ends up being the more interesting character of the entire film - he has fun with the whole simplicity of the film and the situations that arise. A very mediocre effort from a director who has a lot more potential.