Bad Teacher stars Cameron Diaz as the world’s worst seventh grade teacher. She drastically changes her teaching style once she learns that the teacher whose students have the highest grades on the state examination will receive a large bonus at the end of the year.
Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) is a gold digging man eater whose main goal in life is to find a rich man to marry. After being dumped by her rich fiancé, she goes back to teach seventh grade. Returning to the school, she meets the very rich substitute teacher, Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), and makes every attempt to try and win him over. While chasing the substitute teacher, Russell the gym teacher (Jason Segel) is trying to win Elizabeth over. At the same time, Elizabeth is obsessed with getting a breast augmentation and tries to cheat her way into winning the school’s big bonus at the end of the year.
The plot of the movie goes into several different directions, bouncing back and forth between Elizabeth’s desire to win the money and her obsession with marrying a rich man. The script does not provide as much humor as it promises and Diaz’s character seems to be played up too much. The characters themselves are also not very believable, as Diaz seems to be the direct antithesis of her coworkers.
The portrayal of the other characters plays up an over the top innocence and too much “goody good” than would be realistic. Timberlake’s Delacorte plays a man whose favorite book is Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth’s hall mate Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) acts more like a kindergarten teacher than that of a junior high school teacher, and poor Lynn Davies (Phyllis Smith) is tormented by Elizabeth in much of the film. Even the principal, Wally Snur, is portrayed as a bit of a wimp, as he is obsessed with dolphins. It is also hard to believe that the school system would ever keep a school teacher like Elizabeth around.