Bad Teacher

I’m feeling under pressure to find a comedy funny. Recent movies that I’ve seen have dragged a little bit and I haven’t had been to see a film that’s made me laugh out loud since, I don’t know, bits of Your Highness. But after seeing some gruelingly depressing films I was in the mood for something that tickled my funny bone and, I’m afraid, Bad Teacher didn’t really do the trick.

The problem isn’t the actors. They’re all trying hard. Cameron Diaz in particularly restores a great deal of her reputation with a very Billy Bob Thorntonesque performance as the teacher who smokes pot in the car park, drinks in class and physically abuses the kid she calls ‘chubs’. Add to that Lucy Punch’s neat little turn as the gradually turning psychotic rival member of staff, Jason Segel as the only character to get to say genuinely funny things and Justin Timberlake as the anti-Justin Timberlate (uncool, bad at music, into dry humping…) and you’ve got a decent ensemble.

So where does it fall apart? Well, it just isn’t that funny. A film asking us to root for such a terrible human being is not always doomed and they do succeed in making us sit in the Diaz corner. But the material she’s delivered with just isn’t up to much and very quickly becomes repetitive. Jason Segel is the funniest thing in the movie but that’s basically because he does his usual nice guy shtick and no one gets in the way. The rest of the cast flap in the wind a little bit as the titular hurricane thrashes about wildly but in the end little damage is done.

Not as funny as it could’ve been it at least finds Diaz on sparkling form. Better jokes next time, please.

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