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Cameron Diaz, one of cinemas favorite girl next door types, is starring in Bad Teacher, a film that would have been an unexpected and possibly welcomed type cast change during her Charlie’s Angels days—and now?
Aiming to redefine Diaz as worth her comedic weight in an age of unapologetic guilty thrills, Bad Teacher throws out her girl next door image and gives her a leading role where she is the modern day epitome of, well, a bad teacher.
Diaz plays Elizabeth, a seventh-grade teacher who is wasting time in class by not teaching, insulting children, fellow staff members and drinking on the job as she waits to marry her rich fiance. However, things accordingly go awry and she is broken up with, setting her on an urgent course to find a new man with money.
Low and behold, he just so happens to be Diaz’ real life ex, Justin Timberlake, as Scott Delacorte, the rich and handsome substitute teacher. Elizabeth’s gold digging senses spot his expensive family watch immediately, prompting her to pursue his affections and win him, along with his money, over.
Now of course there is more to it than that. Elizabeth sees a picture of Scott’s ex-girlfriend and decides that without breast implants; there is no way that she can win him over. Luckily, her trusty academic sidekick Lynn, also known as Phyllis Smith of The Office, informs her that whichever teacher gets their students to score the highest on an annual test gets a bonus.
Thus ensures the race to the finish line, with competition along the way from Lucy Punch as the archenemy “good teacher” who is competing for the bonus and succeeded in nabbing Scott first. Jason Segel also stars as the sarcastic and irreverent gym teacher who is trying to win over the mean pretty girl in class—to no avail.
So, why see Diaz as a foul-mouthed teacher lazing around the schoolyard?
First off, not only is Phyllis from The Office in the movie, a “stand out character” according to Timberlake and dubbed “a genius” by Diaz, but Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, the writers of The Office, also wrote the script. If more convincing is still needed, then know that in addition to Justin Timberlake, fellow Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon will also be in the film.
Next of course is the comedy sensation Jason Segel, also known as “the uber charming, incredibly seductive, 6-foot-5 man meat they call The Segel”–or so Diaz says. Even Timberlake, the pop king himself proclaimed, “I am on the Jason Segel Train.”
According to Timberlake in a Trailer Addict interview, the film is “funny on many different levels,” with both physical comedy and excellent writers who created a “fantastically baked cake” that the actors are “just spreading the icing on.” With an all-star cast of comedians, the script itself underwent very few changes from the initial reading to the finished product. During filming there were very few takes and the cast was “hauling ass,” as Diaz put it.