Cameron Diaz has mostly called it quits in Hollywood, at least for the time being. She hasn’t appeared in a feature length film in more than seven years now. And apparently, there are no plans to return to the life anytime soon. But while we wait for her to, maybe, one day grace the big screen again, there’s a hilarious film of hers that just hit Netflix at the beginning of this month. You can now catch Bad Teacher streaming over there, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Cameron Diaz isn’t the first person you’d think of when picturing a high school teacher and actually the character she plays in the movie pretty much sees it the same way. In fact, from the very beginning we see that she’s plainly not interested in the job at all. She has no problem catching a cig during school time, has a few pops of the sauce while on duty and spends most of her days completely ignoring the kids in her own classroom. The movie’s title fits Diaz completely when we first meet her.
The reason Cameron Diaz, here playing Elizabeth Halsey, feels like she can eschew any real responsibility in the classroom is that she’s got a rich fiance at home who is set to make her life very financially easy going forward. What does Diaz need with this job when she’ll be provided from monetarily moving forward? Is she just there for the money? Sure, but in this guy’s defense, he’s also getting Cameron Diaz back. That is until there is a family intervention (his mother) and the marriage is called off. That leads Halsey back into her most hated place on Earth, the classroom. Check out the trailer for Bad Teacher:
Bad Teacher has a ridiculous premise throughout. Cameron Diaz, in an effort to make her way back into a relationship, decides to pursue the new substitute teacher played by Justin Timberlake. Turns out this dude is from money as well and Diaz makes it a goal to get him into a relationship the only way her character knows how: a bob job. The movie follows these antics as well as a budding rivalry between her and a goody-goody teacher who has a somewhat similar goal. Most of the film has Diaz going about as underhanded as it gets, willing to do almost anything to get the boobs and the man.
But of course, as with any movie, even the raunchy comedy types, there has to be a bit of redemption in here. In an effort to get the boob bonus, Cameron Diaz actually does start teaching the kids, learning the job not from a point of ethical and moral obligation, but rather as a means to a chesty end. But it serves its purpose and we see a transformation anyway.
Cameron Diaz is hilarious in Bad Teacher, fully leaning into the part from the jump. She pulls off the look, feel, and tone of a very attractive woman who doesn’t have a single care when it comes to the actual job at first. She’s narcissistic and just kind of awful. And it totally works.
In addition to Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake there are a few other notables who really make Bad Teacher work. There’s Jason Segal as the gym teacher who has his eyes on Diaz’s character and takes a totally different approach than other men in her life. And there’s also Lucy Punch as the aforementioned teaching rival. Phyllis Smith plays a great role, meant to be a teacher on screen and there’s also John Michael Higgins, Molly Shannon, Eric Stonestreet, Thomas Lennon, and more. The cast is stacked.
Director Jake Kasdan helmed the movie and would go on to work with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal again in 2014’s Sex Tape. He also directed Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level. And this thing was a total hit on the back of Cameron Diaz putting in a great performance and a hilariously raunchy script. It earned more than $216 million at the box office on a $20 million budget. Critics weren’t all that pleased with the movie sitting at 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, but that’s a bit harsh considering the movie set out to do exactly what it did.
As for Cameron Diaz, she’s out of the acting game focusing more on her wine business and other ventures. Whether she ever plans to get back on the big screen remains to be seen. Luckily we still have flicks like Bad Teacher out there to enjoy. Check it out streaming on Netflix.