HOLLYWOOD (WWJ) – Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake are both excellent actors. To this day, Diaz’s “There’s Something About Mary” remains one of my all-time favorite films. And, since her performance in that 1998 smash hit, she’s gone on to play a number of memorable roles in films too numerous to mention. Timberlake is no slouch in the acting department, either. He’s appeared in numerous projects on both the small and large screen, and he absolutely shined in 2010’s “The Social Network.” So, when I heard that they were both starring together in “Bad Teacher,” I made sure to clear my calendar so that I would be among the first to see it.
In “Bad Teacher,” Diaz stars as middle school teacher Elizabeth Halsey. To say she’s irreverent would be an understatement. In fact, here’s how she’s described in the production notes: “She’s foul-mouthed, ruthless, and wildly inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can’t wait to marry her meal ticket and walk away from her day job teaching middle school.” Sounds like a pretty unique and interesting plot line. And that, it definitely is. Which means, there’s a lot of potential there.
But, while a lot of that potential is realized, the team behind “Bad Teacher” takes it just a little bit too far. Instead of taking Halsey’s adventures to the edge of the cliff (which in this instance would have been sufficient), they jump over the cliff. And, not just once or twice; numerous times.
While the movie is sure to appeal to a certain audience, it’s even more likely to upset a whole lot more – including teachers! For example, it would have been one thing to “hint” at drug use – or even show characters onscreen using marijuana – but it’s quite another to show them using a bong pipe, especially actors portraying teachers. It was just a bit much for me and considering the state of the world today – and the challenges the educational community is facing right now – it sets a bad example for young people.
“Bad Teacher” has its bright moments. There are several scenes that get the audience laughing, and there are some lessons to be learned. But, keep in mind that if you’re planning to see “Bad Teacher” this weekend, leave the little ones at home. This movie is rated “R” for good reason.
– Terri Lee, Entertainment Reporter
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