Thursday 22 December 2011

Review: Bad Teacher

Year: 2011
Director: Jake Kasdan
Screenplay: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segal, Lucy Punch

Synopsis is here

I'm sure that there's a few people, who drop by this site, and read my negative reviews on comedies and probably think I have a humoroscopy. My last review on the quite lacklustre Horrible Bosses will probably have way more people disagreeing than agreeing with me but in the blogosphere it's expected. I won't be surprised that the same people who rated Horrible Bosses a high ranking 7.1 (as I write this) on the IMDB, took offence at the Cameron Diaz vehicle Bad Teacher and gave it the 5.7 it has to settle with.

After watching the two pretty much back to back, I've gotta say that at least Bad Teacher doesn't pull it's punches. The subject matter may not be as dark but the subversiveness is there. I laughed and tittered as Diaz revelled in a role she loved playing. I will not try and defend the fact the film is not one note, but there is enough in the performances (particularly Lucy Punch and Justin Timberlake) to keep me watching. The film has just enough brazen energy to keep things ticking.

Most of the energy comes from Diaz who comes across as an evil Dewey Finn. I liked her timing; as I have in the past, and there are small moments throughout the film involving her character I just enjoyed throughout. At one point we see that her also unsavoury flatmate would rather go out elsewhere than sit in and get "shitfaced" with her. The films car wash set piece is something one could see a mile off but still brings a silly giggle. It all seems to be down with how much you dig Diaz in the role. I've seen actresses that could perhaps do more, I know a ton that could do a lot less. However, Diaz did enough to make me want to see what will happen next in the next scene. I liked her interaction with the kids, as well as her drab banter with Jason Segal.

I guess Bad Teacher got me due to low expectations. Maybe I should watch films so late at night. Maybe I should have watched it separately from Horrible Bosses  The arcs are predictable but they function well enough for say, people looking for a throwaway 90 minutes pizza movie. It's mean, but I saw a glint of the characters redemption early enough in the film to plough on ahead. It's a feminist nightmare but in all honesty, unlike some other movies, its clearly in jest and winking at the camera. I can't lie, I didn't think it was as bad as many others said. Maybe I did have a humoroscopy.