Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Bad Teacher

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use
Profanity:Constant crude and strong language, sometimes in front of children
Nudity/Sex:Very explicit sexual references and situations, nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Comic violence
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:June 24, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 18, 2011

Are you a fan of comedy based on the sole premise that it is funny to see a beautiful woman make outrageously crude and narcissistic statements?  Then go watch Sarah Silverman.  This movie will only show you how much better  she is by comparison.

It’s a shame to see the talents of Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal, Justin Timberlake, and Lucy Punch wasted on a one-joke premise that could barely support an SNL sketch.  Here it is: Diaz plays Elizabeth, a bad teacher.  How bad is she?  She snoozes through class while the kids watch movies, she drinks and smokes marijuana at school, she never learns the kids’ names or teaches them anything, and she uses bad language.  She will do anything to marry a wealthy man or get the money she needs for breast enlargement surgery, because she thinks it will help her marry a wealthy man.  She is not just bad; unfortunately she is also unpleasant, annoying, and dull.

There’s really nothing more to say about the plot.  Elizabeth is bad in many different situations — cafeteria, classroom, school dance, student’s home, and field trip. She is bad in different ways — mean, selfish, obnoxious, dishonest.  She is rude to many different people — teachers, parents, students.  She uses her looks, most notably at a fund-raising car wash where she diverts the funds to her own Daisy Dukes and in an encounter with the keeper of the standardized test she wants to steal (Thomas Lennon).  But it’s the same joke over and over and over and over.  The expression of unabashed, vulgar, angry, selfish superego in what is supposed to be a protected context has undeniable appeal (see the best-seller Go the F**k to Sleep). But it is not enough to sustain a movie.

It’s briefly fun to see “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet in a very different role and Diaz gets some credit for being fearless — no winking at the audience to let us know she’s loveable. But Timberlake is wasted in another one-dimensional part. The few highlights come from Jason Segal, who has a wonderfully wry confidence as the school’s PE teacher and Lucy Punch as Elizabeth’s nemesis has some fun with the demented perkiness of a teacher driven around the bend. They show how much more a talented comic performer can bring to an under-written story. But that isn’t enough to keep “Bad Teacher” from being a bad movie.

Parents should know that this film has constant offensive behavior, some in front of young teenagers, including frequent crude and extremely strong language, very explicit sexual references and situations, drinking, drug use, insults, and comic violence.

 

Family discussion:  Whose side are you supposed to be on in this movie?  What did Russell see in Elizabeth that no one else did?  Whose behavior was worse, Elizabeth’s or Amy’s and why?

 

 

 

If you like this, try: “Billy Madison” and “The Ice Harvest”


Previous Posts

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaEedtRHklg[/youtube] I love it that Judy Garland sings "rainbows" instead of "reindeer."

posted 8:00:57am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Ask Amy Says: A Book on Every Bed
I love to remind people about Amy Dickinson's wonderful "Book on Every Bed" proposal: Here’s how it happens: You take a book (it can be new or a favorite from your own childhood). You wrap it. On Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you celebrate), you leave the book in a place where Santa is

posted 12:00:42pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.