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Bad Teacher

She doesn't give an "F." 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Jake Kasdan 
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake  
An image from Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher is one of the latest attempts by Hollywood recent to ape the success of the behemoth money-maker The Hangover, laced as the film is with darkly dry humour and physical comedy. ‘If it ain't broke don’t fix it’ seemed to be the motto as filmmakers came to produce this typically lewd, crude and rude film starring Cameron Diaz.

Elizabeth ‘Miss’ Hasley (Diaz) is an outlandishly cynical and insensitive teacher who cares more about nursing her ailments after a night out than she does the education of her unlucky students. Loud, abrasive and foul-mouthed, her motives are entirely selfish and when her sugar-daddy dumps her, Elizabeth sets her sights on a wealthy colleague (Timberlake). However, her plight causes conflict with another beloved female teacher as the two go head to head to win not only his affections but also a big cash bonus at the end of the academic year.

A hilarious turn from Diaz as the gleefully barefaced teacher from hell acts as the glue to this otherwise predictable comedy. Also out for big laughs is Jason Segel as the wry and witty gym teacher who Elizabeth constantly rejects, despite clearly being the closest match she can find when it comes to verbal sparring. Perhaps the most admirable quality of the whole affair, though, is its unrelenting commitment to being bad – in places the story could have easily turned mawkish, but instead stays true to its promise of being unapologetically mocking and sarcastic.

It may not be the smartest comedy around, nor are its characters (thankfully) the most realistic, but the laughs come fast and frequently in this unashamedly dark comedy – who cares if they all happen to be a little cheap?

Luke Woellhaf

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Autumn Term (35mm)