Before retiring from acting, Cameron Diaz made a lot of movies. Her career is often remembered for Charlie’s Angels and There’s Something About Mary. She had the opportunity to voice Princess Fiona in Shrek. But she was also in a lot of movies that get brought up a little less. One such film had her playing a main character designed to be as difficult to like as possible. That movie was Bad Teacher, a 2011 release that teamed her up with co-stars Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Phyllis Smith, and Lucy Punch. Now, audiences are discovering the rated-R comedy on Netflix.
Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey. There are a lot of things that can be said about her character’s personality. She likes to drink a lot and do a lot of drugs. She hates her job as a teacher and especially dislikes her co-workers and students. The idea of actually having to “work” doesn’t really appeal to her. At the beginning of the movie, we meet her when her plans to get out of the idea of “work” have just failed. She was all set to marry a wealthy man for his money when his mother exposed her and the wedding was called off. Now, Cameron Diaz’s character has to go back to her job as a teacher, and she is not thrilled about it.
Once back at school, she knows that what she needs to do is find another wealthy man and convince him to marry her. That’s when she meets Justin Timberlake, a substitute teacher from a wealthy family. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem interested in her. As she is trying to lure him in, she discovers that his ex-girlfriend had big boobs. Cameron Diaz’s character decides that to win him over she will need breast implant surgery. This introduces her next challenge and the plot of Bad Teacher: get enough money for breast enlargement.
Cameron Diaz’s character then tries things like participating in the school car wash so she can steal the money for herself, but that doesn’t work out. She tries to manipulate the parents of her students into giving her enough money for school supplies, but that doesn’t work out. Then, she discovers that the classroom with the highest standardized test score will get thousands of dollars. She buckles down and attempts to teach her students.
Quizzing her students, she soon realizes it’s just too late to play catch up and teach them now. So, what does she do next? She finds the guy with the answer sheet, seduces him, gets him alone, drugs him, and then steals the answers. Cameron Diaz is definitely embracing the bad teacher title in this one.
Amidst the chaos that is Cameron Diaz’s character going after her goal, there is the gym teacher played by Jason Segel. He’s a nice guy, the kind of character Jason Segel often plays. He asks her on a date but she turns him down and the pair become friendly during the movie. The storyline with Jason Segel turns the film into a romantic comedy, even though their relationship is largely in the background while Diaz’s character pursues her breast enlargement surgery goal.
Ultimately, audiences showed up to see Bad Teacher. On a budget of $20 million, the film earned back $216 million at the worldwide box office. During the Sony Pictures hack, it was discovered that the Cameron Diaz filmed earned a profit of $64 million.
While many went to see Bad Teacher, the reactions to the movie were mixed. The film has a 5.6 IMDb rating. Rotten Tomatoes puts the movie at 45%. The general consensus from the reviews is that Cameron Diaz plays a brazen and wild character that’s interesting to watch. The cast on this one is definitely star-studded and ready to bring audiences in. The idea for the plot is unique and has potential. However, many in the audience felt that Bad Teacher wasn’t as funny as they wanted it to be.
Still, Bad Teacher was a financial success and a lot of people have seen it. While large parts of the audience didn’t enjoy the film, enough people liked it that the movie is still talked about today. While Bad Teacher didn’t get a sequel, Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz did team up for another comedy after this one in a similar vein with Sex Tape, though that movie wasn’t rated as well.