Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 26
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) has become reconciled with the penguins he inherited and has managed to train them to dance with him.

Bad Teacher: Cameron Diaz Plays Misbehaving Teacher in Romantic Comedy

Kam Williams

Public schoolteachers have been getting a pretty bad rap recently. They have taken the brunt of the blame for the declining graduation rates and the escalating deficit of many states’ economies. This lowbrow comedy threatens to tarnish the profession’s reputation even further. It is about a shameless gold digger who is more obsessed with marrying a sugar daddy than to worry about the welfare of her 7th grade students.

Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a foul mouthed pot smoking alcoholic who lets her class at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) watch movies every morning so she can close her eyes until her hangover wears off. At the point of departure, the schoolteacher is focused on her impending wedding to the heir to a large fortune (Nat Faxon) whom she sees as her ticket to a pampered life in the lap of luxury.

After all, she’s already persuaded him to give her a Mercedes convertible and access to his credit card. However, he calls off the wedding when he learns that his greedy fiancée has exceeded that account’s limit.

So Elizabeth reluctantly returns to JAMS in the fall intending to find another wealthy prospective husband. Although the affable gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), starts flirting with her again, he doesn’t have nearly enough money to hold her interest.

As it turns out, there is a new substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Jason Timberlake), who fits the bill. However, Elizabeth encounters stiff competition for his affection from Amy Squirrell (Lucy Punch). And because there’s a $5,000 bonus for the teacher whose class performs the best on the standardized test at the end of the semester, Elizabeth is motivated at last to help her students maximize their test scores.

Bad Teacher is an adult movie directed by Jake Kasdan. Don’t be deceived by the movie’s premise which appears to be a set-up for a classic love triangle. Be forewarned, the movie seizes on any excuse to have the heroine engage in vulgar repartee and prance around scantily clad.

If you’re in the market for such salacious fare, Bad Teacher does deliver enough jokes to be worth the investment.

Very Good (***, Three Stars). Rated R for nudity, profanity, sexuality, and drug use. Running time: 92 minutes. Distributor: Columbia Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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