(director: Jake Kasdan; screenwriters: Gene Stupnitsky/Lee Eisenberg; cinematographer: Alar Kivilo; editor: Tara Timpone; music: Michael Andrews; cast: (Elizabeth Halsey), (Scott Delacorte), Lucy Punch (Amy Squirrel), John Michael Higgins (Principal Wally Snur), (Russell Gettis), Phyllis Smith (Lynn Davies), Thomas Lennon (Carl Halabi), Molly Shannon (Melody), Eric Stonestreet (Kirk), Dave Allen (Sandy Pinkus), Matthew J. Evans (Garrett Tiara), Kaitlyn Dever (Sasha Abernathy), Nat Faxon (Mark); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jimmy Miller/David Householter; Columbia Pictures; 2011)
“Never fully clicks because the anti-hero protagonist never really becomes a sympathetic figure even when she sort of redeems herself.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jake Kasdan (“Zero effect”/”Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story“/”The TV Set”)helms this bad taste raunchy comedy about a nasty without a conscience Chicago middle school teacher, Elizabeth Halsey (. The bad teacher is a self-absorbed, manipulative, abusive, scheming opportunistic, boozing, pot-smoking, foul-mouthed excuse for a teacher, who does her boozing and pot-smoking in the class. The amoral film is written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, whose yahoo comedy is filled with fart jokes, boob gags, demeaning jokes that encourages the viewer to laugh at supposedly inferiors, an unfunny dry humping gag and many other gross-out sight gags. It, for the most part, satisfactorily delivers with savvy the jokes its fanbase expects, and after showing Elizabeth as a shit for most of the pic it ends on an artificially sweetened note that maybe she’s salvageable as a teacher. Though it never clears up the matter of Elizabeth stealing a state-wide exam and giving the answers to her students, which she does in order to get a bonus to pay for her fake boob procedure. The pic ignores that such an act is cheating and considered criminal by just never responding to it.It lazily settles for being a lesser Bad Santa black comedy, one that never fully clicks because the anti-hero protagonist never really becomes a sympathetic figure even when she sort of redeems herself.
After teaching for one year at the John Adams Middle School, bad teacherElizabeth quits to marry a foppish rich guy (Nat Faxon). When her fiancé dumps her after catching on she’s a gold-digger, a disheartened Elizabeth returns to the same school to teach seventh-grade English in the fall semester. Not interested in teaching, Elizabeth turns her attention to getting a breast implant to make her boobs big, which will help her score as a boyfriend the boring but geeky rich wrist-watch heir new teacher Scott Delacorte (British actressJohn Michael Higgins
REVIEWED ON 6/25/2011 GRADE: C