2011-07-15 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

‘Bad Teacher’ – Not Hot For Teacher
By Robert Snyder

Cameron Diaz’s attempt to cash in on the “Bridesmaids” girlgrossout film success doesn’t work in “Bad Teacher.” What she is missing is heart.

All the wild guys in “The Hangover” films, the wacky wedding women in “Bridesmaids,” and even debauched Billy Bob Thornton’s “Bad Santa” have it.

Diaz’s black-souled middle school instructor Elizabeth Halsey is rotten to the core. A gold-digger, drug-smoking alcoholic, she doesn’t hesitate to fix her students’ state tests to score a cash bonus to pay for a boob job to entice a wealthy husband. The boob job is also behind her contribution to her pupils’ fund-raising car wash, a soapand sex scene done better in Paul Newman’s 1967 “Cool Hand Luke.”

At one point, the evil Miss Halsey does show a trace of humanity. She pulls off her black bra and gives it to a boy being bullied for alleged homosexuality, so he can display it as a trophy of his hetero” exploits. There’s sensitivity for you. While comedies with questionably funny leads usually have top comic co-stars, “Bad Teacher” only has one. Phyllis Smith is painfully insecure co-teacher Lynn Davies, whose absurdly low self esteem elicits genuine laughs.It should be noted that Justin Timberlake playing against type as a sexually-repressed richboy substitute teacher is not funny, but plenty weird. Don’t go to “Bad Teacher.” It’s no good.





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