2011’s Bad Teacher is not as funny as it promises to be and also boasts a fairly predictable plot. But if you lower your expectations enough, then it can be a fairly diverting, if unmemorable, 97 minutes. If nothing else, it’s worth watching for Cameron Diaz’ performance as the eponymous educator and it’s credit to her efforts that you find yourself rooting for a character that has almost no redeemable features.
Jason Segel is also likeable, if underused, and if Justin Timberlake is profoundly irritating throughout, it’s actually because his character is meant to be irritating.
It’s probably just as well that a talked about sequel never got made, and no surprise that a spinoff TV series was axed almost before it got going; there is barely enough material to make this one mediocre film stretch out for its modest running time.
Still, I didn’t hate it.
Score for Christmasishness
As with a lot of movies that are set in schools, this one spans the academic year, and as most years include Christmas, then a Christmas does pop up in this too. It covers the school Christmas dance and the main character’s own holiday experiences, including an unexpected Christmas dinner with the family of one of her students. It’s pretty Christmassy for about ten minutes or so. Which is more than some movies that make my annual list, so Bad Teacher more than deserves a place on this year’s countdown.