Still reeling from the disappointment of The Hangover II, I continue my quest for the great comedy flick of the summer. So I attended an opening day showing of Bad Teacher, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Cameron Diaz.
If nothing else, Bad Teacher offers a bold commentary on today’s culture. In short, the movie goes the distance to project the message that as long as you’re a hot chick who dresses like a stripper -- even a forty-year-old hot chick who dresses like a stripper, you can do no wrong -- no matter what. In fact, there’s absolutely nothing endearing about Diaz’s character -- Elizabeth Halsey, a junior high school teacher, obsessed with financing her boob job -- at all costs. Simply put, Halsey is an unlikable, lying, cheating, self-centered, alcoholic, drug-using gold-digger who is nothing but nasty to everyone in her life -- including her tweenage students. But she’s a hot chick who dresses like a stripper, so the fact that she’s a horrible person is somehow okay. Throughout the film, Halsey is pursued by the gym teacher, Russell Gettis, played by Jason Segel. But for the life of me I don’t understand the attraction -- except for the fact that Halsey is a hot chick who dresses like a stripper. When Halsey gets busted for stealing the answers to an upcoming state student exam, she gets off scott-free -- which we're led to believe is awesome ’cuz, remember, she’s a -- well you get the idea. And when she’s confronted by another teacher whose only apparent crime is being a happy and positive person, the audience applauds when Halsey triumphs. Even Justin Timberlake’s character, a goody-two-shoes substitute teacher named Scott Delacourt, is portrayed as a dolt, until Halsey succeeds in leading him to compromise his values.
To be fair, I must admit that Bad Teacher does have several laugh-out-loud moments. However, there were just enough of those to justify spending the $4 on my discounted matinee ticket. Actually, this could have been a worthwhile film, but like so many others these days, a potentially clever story was sacrificed and dumbed-down in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. My quest continues.
Author Christopher Long's latest book
C'MON! - My Story of Rock, Ruin and Revelation
is available NOW on Amazon.