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Bad Teacher


Stars: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, John Michael Higgins, Phyllis Smith, Thomas Lennon, David Paymer

Director: Jason Reitman

Cameron Diaz revels in her role as a reluctant high-school teacher whose mind is on getting money for breast enlargements rather than academic achievement in this totally unbelievable and underwritten comedy that provides yet another rotten Hollywood part for Britain's gawky, talented Lucy Punch as Diaz's would-be nemesis, whose machinations are obviously doomed to failure.

Diaz slommocks behind her desk, swearing at the class and nipping out to do drugs in her car. Caught by a horrified student, she explains it as 'medicinal marijuana'.

Just as well she's a bad teacher, though, as Diaz as an academic is about as likely (on screen at least) as Goldie Hawn was as a librarian in Foul Play. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake barely registers as the rich young teacher Diaz aims to get her hooks into, while Jason Segel is scarcely better as the ape-like gym teacher who pursues her, even if the script does intend him to be an oaf.

Still, it's bright and lively enough to attract fans of Judd Apatow-style raunchy comedies, although many cinemagoers will find that bad is the operative word in the largely laugh-free shenanigans that ensue. Thank goodness for Diaz, who's virtually the whole show.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 11 Jun 2011