Glenn here to help you guys ease back into the school year with the help of Cameron Diaz as Miss Halsey in Bad Teacher. Lord know we could have all used a teacher like her in those first few days, watching movies and napping.
Anyone seen Stand and Deliver? Show of hands. You kidding me? Edward James Olmos? Lou Diamond Phillips?
For as hilarious as I find this film - yes, I know it's a minority opinion, but I guffaw wildly and it's surprisingly rewatchable - nothing quite beats the moment when Diaz enters the building she thought she'd escaped forever and remembers the hell that is being a middle school teacher (or, in her case, any teacher at all). You and me both, Cam.
There's only so many times swearing and cursing can be funny (hell, kids-say-the-darndest-things style of humor was played out years before Bad Teacher came along) and I think the film is actually rather smart in focusing a lot of its energy on visual gags like this one, or others mostly revolving around Cameron Diaz's wonderfully expressive face and body language.
Sadly, in one of those rare instances of the Golden Globes having a great performance by a big star in a huge box office smash to choose from, they glanced right over Diaz's return to the (sorta) A list. Instead they chose the two women from Carnage and Michelle Williams from the laugh riot singalong My Week with Marilyn (who won). I'm not going to complain about Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. That's still fantastic. Still, being in a critically lambasted movie has never stopped them before and Diaz's work here is truly committed and gutsy stuff.
Was it that Diaz was too... caustic? I really have to say that in spite of the hit-and-miss quality of the movies she has appeared in lately, Diaz has to my mind become one of the most fearless actors out there. Say what you will about the film or her performance, but Diaz in The Counsellor sure was something that's hard to forget. Her performance in Annie looks like a ridiculous mess, but one I'm fascinated to watch unfold. And as for Knight & Day? Well, I'm not sure I've seen a performer is recent years attempt to make a character that unlikable in a way that wasn't already on the page, somehow elevating the film to a strange form of performance art on her behalf.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's little message to really be learnt from Bad Teacher. Except maybe to follow Diaz's lead. No, don't be rude, racy and disrespectful. Rather, be fearless and don't put up with the crap. And before you go...
Please help yourself to some delicious snacks and drinks in the back.
Did you have a bad teacher? And what do you think of the Cameron Diaz of the '10s? Fearless or frightening?