MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Teacher

cameron-diaz-bad-teacher

If there is one thing we are learning in Summer 2011, it is that Hollywood can turn anything into a bad idea. It used to be people dreaded sequels, now we dread superhero films (thanks Green Lantern!) and after this weekend, some may even be more cautious of raunchy comedy. Bad Teacher, a featherweight entry at best to the “raunch-fest” that mainstream comedy has continually aimed for since “the rise of Apatow,” hit theaters today and should be avoided at all costs (especially considering the fact Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop opens this weekend as well and is a million times funnier).

I love raunchy comedy. It is more than likely one of the bigger influences in my decision to enter the entertainment industry. There’s something about pushing boundaries, even if very slightly, just for the sake of exposing the fact everyone loves to laugh, that has always intrigued me and many other film geeks. However, as with anything that becomes popular these days, i knew big business would eventually step in and run the genre back into the ground. It has already happened a million times in the past. Need an example? American Pie supposedly reignited America’s love for teen sex in film. This lead to multiple sequels, which divided fans, as well as multiple other coming-of-age tales that revolved around teens and sex (Road Trip and Eurotrip anyone?). However, ticket sales eventually slumped and thus, the end of that era of mainstream teen sex comedy (long live direct-to-dvd).

The point I’m making is: Bad Teacher is to The Forty Year Old Virgin, what Eurotrip or even American Pie Presents: Band Camp was to American Pie.

I entered the theater with mild expectations, I truly did. The trailers weren’t terrible; Diaz is still attractive (kind of), Timberlake secures younger fans (or does he?), and Segel almost certainly guaranteed at least one good laugh. An hour and thirty odd minutes later, I can say that Jason did, in fact, provide me with the one laugh of the entire film (museum scene for anyone unfortunate enough to have already caught a screening).

The problem with reviewing a bad comedy, especially this one, is knowing where to begin with the problem.The script is flimsy at best and more by-the-numbers than the artwork of daycare children, but you don’t enter a comedy expecting Shakespeare, so you can’t say you didn’t accept that as a possibility upon buying the ticket. Also, the leads’ were extremely static and dull (except for Segel, who stands as the film’s most redeeming aspect in nearly every way), but enough of the side characters provide have memorable moments to not hate the cast altogether.

Even bigger than all this though, is the fact comedy is extremely subjective. While I don’t think there is anything original about dry humping, orgasm faces, drinking on the job, showing all your best gags in the trailer, or Justin Timberlake acting like he can’t sing, I’m sure there are tons of people out there who will. Furthermore, and I could be wrong, but I am relatively sure there are those out there who absolutely love when people say ultra-profane things for the sake of saying ultra-profane things. It is not like those ARE NOT EVEN JOKES or anything. I mean, we all agree that just saying dirty things out loud in public is a solid basis for something to be considered humorous, correct?

So let me leave you with this: If the trailer made you laugh and you absolutely cannot miss any movie Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, or Jason Segel are in……STILL WAIT for it to be On-Demand (or whatever streaming service you prefer). Bad Teacher does not deserve the gasoline, cost of city transportation, or energy to walk/ride a bicycle to a theater that it would take for anyone to watch this film.

Wait for it. You will still be underwhelmed.

Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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