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Movie of the Week Part 2: Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher is like an almost really good comedy that didn’t put in all the work to be really good.  As the title suggest, perhaps by accident, the movie is about 50% School of Rock and 50% Bad Santa.  It is largely enjoyable, but never feels much better than decent.

There is some great news about the movie though, at least for Alex Rodriguez.  There had been rumors that he and Bad Teacher star Cameron Diaz were breaking up, but they have actually been home shopping together.  My guess is that A-Rod, who is a star-fu*ker because deep down I think he wishes he was a Hollywood actress, realized that Diaz is likely to be nominated for a Golden Globe for this role and he could at least hold on until February for a chance to walk down an A-list red carpet.

Diaz is very funny, channelling her inner-Billy Bob Thornton and Jason Segel is good at doing his cool loser routine, but Justin Timberlake was not up to what could have been a funnier character.  Besides shouldn’t he record another album already?  Future Sex/Love Sound was damn good.

The plot, if you have not seen the previews, is about a teacher, whose engagement falls apart when her spouse-to-be realizes she is a gold digger and is forced to return to teaching.  Because she hates teaching she makes it her goal to bed the new substitute teacher (Timberlake), who is independently wealthy.  But to do that she feels she needs breast implants.  Various financial, incentive-based opportunities present themselves to our educating anti-hero and hilarity ensues.

The movie was only 90 minutes, but it actually felt longer than that (not Apatow long, but still a little too long).  Like many comedies, even decent ones, the movie is long on jokes, but short on a satisfying, somewhat realistic conclusion.  Movies like this feel more like expanded sitcoms, where you laugh along the way, but the conclusion wraps up far more tidy than any form of reality would allow.   But it is a comedy so it mainly accomplishes its goal, but more by making me smile a lot rather than laugh a lot.  For only $6 I am happy I saw it, but I don’t think it is worth much more than that.

Grade: B-

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