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Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher
A blonde woman slumped behind a desk, her boots on the desk. On the desk is a red apple with the label "Eat Me!"
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJake Kasdan
Produced byJimmy Miller
David Householter
Written byLee Eisenberg
Gene Stupnitsky
Music byMichael Andrews
CinematographyAlar Kivilo
Edited byTara Timpone
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • June 24, 2011 (2011-06-24)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[1][2]
Box office$216.2 million[2]

Bad Teacher is a 2011 American comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan based on a screenplay by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, and Phyllis Smith.

The film was released in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2011. It focuses on a lazy middle school teacher who returns to the teaching job she hates and tries to make enough money for breast implants after her wealthy fiancé dumps her.


Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is a lazy, gold-digging English teacher at John Adams Middle School (JAMS) in Cook County, Illinois, who is very bad at her job. She curses at her students, drinks heavily, smokes marijuana, and shows movies while sleeping through class. She plans to quit teaching and marry her wealthy fiancé, Mark Pubich (Nat Faxon), at the end of the school year, but Elizabeth resumes her job when Mark dumps her after learning from his mother that Elizabeth is only after his money. When the new school year starts, Elizabeth meets and tries to get substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who is also wealthy because his family runs a watch company. Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), a dedicated and enthusiastic colleague, also pursues Scott. The school's gym teacher, Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), is interested in Elizabeth romantically, but she is not interested in him because he is only a gym teacher.

Upon learning that Scott's ex-girlfriend had large breasts, Elizabeth plans to get surgery to enlarge her breasts, but she cannot afford the $9,300 procedure. She feels worse when Scott admits that he has a crush on Amy, and that he only likes Elizabeth as a friend. Elizabeth attempts to raise money for the surgery by convincing the principal, Wallace 'Wally' Snur (John Michael Higgins), to let her run the school car wash instead of Amy. At the car wash, she is dressed in provocative clothing and by manipulating parents to give her money for more school supplies and tutoring, but her efforts are not enough. Amy, acting on the growing resentment between them due to Elizabeth pursuing Scott and ignoring school rules, attempts to warn the principal about Elizabeth's embezzlement scheme, but he dismisses her claims as groundless.

Elizabeth later learns from her best friend, Lynn Davies (Phyllis Smith), that the teacher of the class with the highest state test scores will receive a $5,700 bonus, and Amy wins every year. Amy later talks with Sasha Abernathy (Kaitlyn Dever), a student, who says she saw Elizabeth doing marijuana, but says it's medicinal. With this knowledge, Amy suspects that something's wrong, and reports it to the principal, but he says he can't do anything with lack of proof. Elizabeth decides to change her style of teaching, forcing the class to intensely read and study To Kill a Mockingbird for the upcoming state test. However, the change is too late and insufficient. The students receive terrible scores on their quizzes, frustrating her even more. Meanwhile, she befriends Russell as Amy and Scott start dating. Desperate to pay off the procedure for her breast surgery, Elizabeth disguises herself as a journalist and infiltrates the state test office to get the answer key for the test. Elizabeth convinces state official Carl Halabi (Thomas Lennon) to take her to his office and have sex, but she instead drugs his drink and steals a copy of the answer key. A month later, Elizabeth aces the test and she wins the bonus, giving her the funds needed to get her breasts enlarged.

When Elizabeth learns that Amy and Scott are chaperoning an upcoming field trip, she smears an apple with poison ivy and leaves it for Amy, who ends up with her face breaking out in blisters, leaving her unable to attend the trip. On the trip, Elizabeth seduces Scott. They dry hump and Elizabeth secretly calls Amy using Scott's phone, leaving a message recording all the action, ensuring she knows about the affair. Elizabeth ultimately finds Scott unsatisfying. Later, her student Garrett Tiara (Matthew J. Evans) is embarrassed and ridiculed by his classmates after publicly confessing his unrequited love for a classmate named Chase (Kathryn Newton). Elizabeth consoles him afterwards and tells him how she is too superficial to return his interest, which causes Elizabeth to reflect on her own superficial ways. To stop the other students from making fun of Garrett, she helps by giving him her bra and telling everyone she caught a student from another school giving him a handjob.

Left behind at the school, Amy switches Elizabeth's desk with her own to trick the janitor into unlocking Elizabeth's sealed drawer. Amy finds Elizabeth's journalist disguise and the practice test, which leads her to suspect Elizabeth cheated on the state exam. Amy informs the principal and gets Carl to testify against her. However, Elizabeth took photos of Carl while he was drugged and hires her roommate, Kirk (Eric Stonestreet), to use them to blackmail Carl into lying that Elizabeth is innocent. Having failed to expose Elizabeth's cheating, Amy accuses her of drug use, remembering Sasha's tip. When the police arrive, they bring their sniffer dog, Axel, who directs them to Amy's classroom. At first, they find nothing, but Elizabeth helpfully suggests there may be a false bottom where she keeps drugs; Amy had apparently forgotten to switch the desks back ahead of time. The police find small liquor bottles, marijuana, and pills of OxyContin under the false bottom. At the end of the school year, Amy is transferred to Malcolm X High School, one of the worst schools in the state, by the superintendent. Scott asks Elizabeth to start over, wanting a relationship with her, but Elizabeth rejects him to be with Russell, whom she has learned she has a lot in common with.

When the new school year starts, Elizabeth has completely reformed; she has decided not to get the breast enlargement after all, because she feels that she looks fine the way she is. She also has a new position as the school's guidance counselor.


  • Cameron Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey, a lazy, gold-digging and drug-abusing teacher
  • Justin Timberlake as Scott Delacorte, a wealthy substitute teacher whom Elizabeth likes
  • Lucy Punch as Amy Squirrel, a spiteful and neurotic teacher and Elizabeth's co-worker, who schemes to get Elizabeth discredited, fired, and arrested
  • Jason Segel as Russell Gettis, a gym teacher who is smitten with Elizabeth
  • Phyllis Smith as Lynn Davies, Elizabeth's best friend, co-worker and fellow teacher
  • John Michael Higgins as Wallace "Wally" Snur, the principal at JAMS
  • Dave Allen as Sandy Pinkus
  • Molly Shannon as Melody Tiara, Garrett's mother who invites Elizabeth to spend Christmas with her family
  • Eric Stonestreet as Kirk, Elizabeth's roommate
  • Thomas Lennon as Carl Halabi, an educator who gets seduced and blackmailed by Elizabeth
  • Nat Faxon as Mark Pubich, Elizabeth's wealthy fiancé who dumps her at the beginning of the film
  • Kaitlyn Dever as Sasha Abernathy, a student who seems to idolize Elizabeth
  • Matthew J. Evans as Garrett Tiara, a lovestruck boy
  • Noah Munck as Tristan Munck, one of Elizabeth's students who frequently bullies Garrett
  • Kathryn Newton as Chase Rubin-Rossi, a popular, superficial student and Garrett's crush
  • Aja Bair as Devon, Gaby and Chase Rubin-Rossi's friend, later ends up with Garret
  • Andra Nechita as Gaby, Devon and Chase Rubin-Rossi's friend
  • Christine Smith as Doctor's Assistant (one with augumented breasts)
  • Jillian Armenante as Beth Pavicic


Bad Teacher is directed by Jake Kasdan based on a screenplay by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Columbia Pictures purchased Eisenberg and Stupnitsky's spec script in August 2008.[3] In May 2009, Kasdan was hired to direct Bad Teacher.[4] The following December, Cameron Diaz was cast in the film's lead role.[5] Justin Timberlake was cast opposite Diaz in March 2010, and filming began later in the month.[6]


Box office

The film was released in North America on June 20, 2011, in 3,049 theaters. It took in $12,243,987—$4,016 per theater—in its opening day, and grossed a total of $31,603,106 in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office, behind Cars 2.[2] In Germany, the film reached No. 1 on the country's Cinema Charts in its opening week after 496,000 people saw the film. This caused Kung Fu Panda 2, which reached No. 1 the week before, to fall to No. 2.[7] The film grossed $100.3 million in the U.S. and Canada, while its worldwide total stands at $216.2 million.[2]

Critical response

Bad Teacher received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 44%, based on 178 reviews, with a rating average of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "In spite of a promising concept and a charmingly brazen performance from Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher is never as funny as it should be."[8] Metacritic gave the film a score of 47 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9] CinemaScore polls reported that moviegoers gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[1]


Award Category Recipients Result
2011 ALMA Awards[10] Favorite Movie Actress – Comedy/Musical Cameron Diaz Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards[11] Choice Movie – Comedy Won
Choice Movie Actor – Comedy Justin Timberlake Won
Choice Movie Actress – Comedy Cameron Diaz Won
33rd Young Artist Awards[12] Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actor Matthew J. Evans Won
Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress Kaitlyn Dever Nominated
2012 BMI Film & TV Awards[13] Film Music Award Michael Andrews Won

Home media

Bad Teacher was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and a combo pack on October 18, 2011.[14]

Possible sequel and TV series

On June 20, 2013, Sony announced that it was working on Bad Teacher 2. The company hired Justin Malen to write the sequel. Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, who wrote the first film, will return as producers. A release from Sony studios said the project is "being developed for Cameron Diaz to star in the film, but no deal is yet set with the actress." Jake Kasdan will again be the director.[15]

On May 23, 2013, CBS announced a TV series based on the movie, with CBS Studios and Sony Pictures Television as production partners. The show premiered on April 24, 2014, in the 9:30pm time slot.[16] Ari Graynor played the Cameron Diaz role,[17] while Sara Gilbert, Ryan Hansen, David Alan Grier, Kristin Davis and Sara Rodier also appeared. On May 10, 2014, CBS canceled Bad Teacher after airing only three episodes.[18] Bad Teacher last aired during the spring TV season on May 22, 2014. However, in July 2014, CBS burned off the remaining unseen episodes by showing two episodes on Saturday nights.


  1. ^ a b Kaufman, Amy; Fritz, Ben (June 30, 2011). "Movie Projector: 'Transformers' will detonate competition at holiday box office". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on July 2, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bad Teacher (2011)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Fleming, Michael (August 26, 2008). "'Teacher' in Columbia's class". Variety.
  4. ^ Fernandez, Jay A. (May 27, 2009). "Director Jake Kasdan enrolls for 'Bad Teacher'". Reuters.
  5. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 9, 2009). "Cameron Diaz is a 'Bad Teacher'". Variety.
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (March 2, 2010). "Justin Timberlake hot for 'Teacher'". Variety.
  7. ^ "GFK Entertainment – "Bad Teacher" holt Bestnoten". June 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Bad Teacher". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango (company). Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Bad Teacher Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  10. ^ "2011 NLCR ALMA Awards – Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  11. ^ Ng, Philiana (July 19, 2011). "Teen Choice Awards 2011: 'Pretty Little Liars,' Rebecca Black Added to List of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards – Nominations / Special Awards". The Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  13. ^ Gallo, Phil (May 17, 2012). "Backbeat: Rolfe Kent Receives Career Achievement Honor at BMI Film and TV Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  14. ^ "Bad Teacher Blu-ray: Unrated + Theatrical". Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  15. ^ O'Neal, Sean (June 20, 2013). "Bad Teacher 2 to further explore the badness of teachers". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  16. ^ London, Derry (April 24, 2014). "'Bad Teacher' From CBS Premieres Tonight at 9:30PM". WTLX 19. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  17. ^ 'The Crazy Ones' and 'Two and a Half Men' Switch Timeslots + CBS Announces 'Bad Teacher' & 'Unforgettable' Premieres
  18. ^ Swift, Andy (May 10, 2014). "CBS Cancels The Crazy Ones, Intelligence, Friends With Better Lives and Two Other Series". TVLine. Retrieved May 10, 2014.

External links