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Cameron Diaz funnier in ‘Bad Teacher’ than ‘There’s Something About Mary’


If you were a fan of Bad Santa, chances are you will love Bad Teacher, the new raunchy and foul-mouthed comedy starring Cameron Diaz.
In the film Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, a hard living, gold-digging, soon-to-be former school teacher who is forced to return to her ‘profession’ after an unexpected change of plans involving her sugar daddy fiance.
Despite this setback, Halsey doesn’t skip a beat when the new school year begins. She forgoes the traditional ice breakers with students and instead shows them movies such as Stand and Deliver and Dangerous Minds. In the process, she fails to remember any of her students’ names and belittles them any chance she gets while smoking pot in the school parking lot and drinking behind her desk. Cameron Diaz in 'Bad Teacher.' Photo: www.collider.com

When Halsey eyes a ‘boob job’ that costs $10,000, she goes to any means necessary to get the money to make this happen, including taking money from the student car wash, and attempting to cozy up to new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who happens to be extremely rich.

However, Halsey’s plan backfires, and Delacorte instead vies for the affections of fellow teacher Amy Squirrel (played brilliantly by British actress Lucy Punch), who is well aware of Halsey’s hidden agenda.

In the meantime, Halsey catches the eye of gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segal), who won’t give Gettis the time of day unless he has a joint.   

While Timberlake and Segal both shine in their limited roles, Bad Teacher is clearly Diaz’s vehicle with a strong supporting role from Punch. Diaz’s character is crass, self-centered and extraordinarily tactless, and she plays the role perfectly. So much to where I’m going go out on a limb and say that Diaz could actually be funnier in Bad Teacher than There’s Something About Mary (although the humor is different, and ‘Something’ is a better all-around movie). There are times in the film where you can’t actually believe she is saying the things coming out of her mouth at all let alone to a bunch of pre-teens.  

Bad Teacher isn’t the perfect comedy by any means. Character development is at a minimum, and the overall plot is pretty thin, and a rather unique sex scene you actually have to see to believe. The jokes however, are free flowing, and the crowd was laughing pretty hard.

And on a side note, I wonder if Diaz was feeding A-Fraud popcorn at the premiere......

Yeah I know, but I couldn’t resist.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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