After bursting on to the scene in 1998 with the infamous There’s Something About Mary, and more recently starring alongside Seth Rogen in The Green Hornet, Cameron Diaz is no stranger to performing in blue comedies. She comfortably fits the lead role with a provocative dress sense, foul mouth and risqué humour that are suitably fitting for a bad teacher.
When her relationship with incredibly rich sugar daddy is ended, junior high school teacher Elizabeth Halsey begins manipulating her students and colleagues in order to win a bonus which will allow her to pay for breast implants that she craves to find a new man.
Bad Teacher is heavily reliant on the strength and originality of its characters to mask a predictable narrative. It is quickly revealed that it is a film entirely centred on a love triangle; a narrative device that has brought success for past films but has become completely unoriginal. For the most part Cameron Diaz and a support cast full of instantly recognisable faces, including Jason Segal, Lucy Punch and Justin Timberlake, each do very well in their individual roles and are enough to draw attention away from the lacking narrative. While the “bad teacher” character may work well in the classroom, the children’s reactions to her bad attitude is sure to bring laughs, the novelty of a swearing teacher eventually wears off. Towards the second half the film loses its way and desperately clings on to the belief that purely swearing alone makes something funny, unfortunately it doesn’t, which results in the film petering out to a disappointing and clichéd conclusion.
While the terribly predictable narrative may repel some, the performances alone are comical enough to induce laughs; especially for those expecting little more than an R rated regurgitation of School of Rock.