Bad Teacher

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For the television series, see Bad Teacher (TV series).
Bad Teacher
Bad Teacher Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jake Kasdan
Produced by Jimmy Miller
David Householter
Written by Lee Eisenberg
Gene Stupnitsky
Starring Cameron Diaz
Justin Timberlake
Lucy Punch
John Michael Higgins
Phyllis Smith
Jason Segel
Music by Michael Andrews
Cinematography Alar Kivilo
Edited by Tara Timpone
Radar Pictures
Mosaic Media Group
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • June 17, 2011 (2011-06-17) (United Kingdom)
  • June 24, 2011 (2011-06-24)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[1][2]
Box office $216,197,492[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 and Jason Segel. The film was released in the United Kingdom on June 17 and in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2011.


Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) is an immoral, gold-digging Chicago-area teacher at the fictional John Adams Middle School who curses at her students, drinks heavily, smokes marijuana, and shows movies while she sleeps through class. She plans to quit teaching and marry her wealthy fiancé, but when he dumps her after realizing she is only after his money, she must resume her job. She tries to win over substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), who is also wealthy. Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), a dedicated but overly enthusiastic teacher and colleague of Elizabeth, also pursues Scott while the school's gym teacher, Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), makes it clear that he is interested in Elizabeth romantically. She, however, is not interested in him.[3]

Early in the film, Elizabeth plans to get surgery to enlarge her breasts, and becomes all the more motivated to do so once she learns Scott's ex-girlfriend had large breasts. However, she cannot afford the $9,300 procedure. To make matters worse, Scott admits that he has a crush on Amy, only viewing Elizabeth as a friend. Elizabeth attempts to raise money for the surgery by participating in her 7th grade class car wash 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 that the teacher of the class with the highest state test scores will receive a $5,700 bonus. With this knowledge, Elizabeth decides to change her style of teaching, forcing the class to study intensely for the upcoming test. However, the change is too late and insufficient. The students have low scores on their quizzes, frustrating her even more. Meanwhile, she befriends Russell the gym teacher as Amy and Scott start dating. Elizabeth steals the state test answers by impersonating a journalist and seducing Carl Halabi (Thomas Lennon), a state professor who is in charge of creating and distributing the exams. Elizabeth convinces Carl to go into his office to have sex, but instead drugs him and steals the test. A month later Elizabeth wins the bonus, completing her needed funds, and pays for the appointment 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 blisters covering her face and cannot go. 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. However, Scott's peculiar behavior, which was subtly exposed by Russell when Scott would agree with anything even if it's contradictory, disappoints Elizabeth. Elizabeth later gives advice to one of her students (Matthew J. Evans) who has an unrequited crush on the superficial Chase (Kathryn Newton) in class, which causes her to reflect on how she has been superficial as well.

Left behind at the school, Amy switches Elizabeth's desk with her own to trick the janitor into unlocking Elizabeth's sealed drawer. The evidence Amy finds leads her to suspect Elizabeth cheated on the state exam. Amy informs the principal and gets Carl to testify against her. However, Elizabeth took embarrassing photos of Carl while he was drugged and uses them to blackmail him to say she is innocent. Having noticed her desk was switched, Elizabeth informs the principal that some teachers in the school are doing drugs. When the police bring a sniffer dog to search the school, they find Elizabeth's mini liquor bottles, marijuana and OxyContin pills in Amy's classroom, in Elizabeth's desk. Amy is moved to the worst school in the county by the superintendent. Scott asks Elizabeth to start over, but Elizabeth rejects him in favor of a relationship with Russell.

When the new school year starts, Elizabeth is kinder to her co-workers, has started a relationship with Russell, and did not get the breast enlargement because she feels that she looks fine the way she is. Elizabeth also has a new position in the school as the new guidance counselor.


  • Cameron Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey, a gold-digging, drug-abusing teacher
  • Lucy Punch as Amy Squirrel, Elizabeth's co-worker/rival who attempts to discredit Elizabeth
  • Jason Segel as Russell Gettis, a gym teacher who is smitten with Elizabeth
  • Justin Timberlake as Scott Delacorte, a substitute teacher whom Elizabeth likes
  • Phyllis Smith as Lynn Davies, Elizabeth's best friend and fellow teacher
  • John Michael Higgins as 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, 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
  • Kathryn Newton as Chase Rubin-Rossi, 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)


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.[4] In May 2009, Kasdan was hired to direct Bad Teacher.[5] The following December, Cameron Diaz was cast in the film's lead role.[6] Justin Timberlake was cast opposite Diaz in March 2010, and filming began later in the month.[7]


Box office performance[edit]

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.[8] The film grossed $100.3 million in the U.S.A. and Canada while its worldwide total stands at $216.2 million.[2]

Critical reaction[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. As of July 2014, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 45% of 177 critics had given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.3 out of 10. The site's consensus was that "In spite of a promising concept and a charmingly brazen performance from Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher is never as funny as it should be."[9] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 47 out of 100, based on 38 reviews.[10] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a C+.[1]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2011 ALMA Awards[11] Favorite Movie Actress – Comedy/Musical Cameron Diaz Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards[12] Choice Movie – Comedy Won
Choice Movie Actor – Comedy Justin Timberlake Won
Choice Movie Actress – Comedy Cameron Diaz Won
33rd Young Artist Awards[13] 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[14] Film Music Award Michael Andrews Won

Home media[edit]

Bad Teacher was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and a combo pack on October 18, 2011.[15]

Sequel and TV series[edit]

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.[16]

On May 23, 2013, CBS announced a TV series based on the movie to debut in the April television season, with CBS Studios and Sony Pictures Television as production partners. The show premiered on April 24, 2014 in the 9:30pm time slot.[17] Ari Graynor played the Cameron Diaz role,[18] 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.[19] Bad Teacher last aired on May 22, 2014. However, in July of 2014, CBS aired 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 2 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bad Teacher (2011)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Bad Teacher". Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  4. ^ Fleming, Michael (August 26, 2008). "'Teacher' in Columbia's class". Variety. 
  5. ^ Fernandez, Jay A. (May 27, 2009). "Director Jake Kasdan enrolls for 'Bad Teacher'". Reuters. 
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 9, 2009). "Cameron Diaz is a 'Bad Teacher'". Variety. 
  7. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (March 2, 2010). "Justin Timberlake hot for 'Teacher'". Variety. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Bad Teacher". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  10. ^ "Bad Teacher Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  11. ^ "2011 NLCR ALMA Awards - Nominees". Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ 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 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  13. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards - Nominations / Special Awards". The Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Bad Teacher Blu-ray: Unrated + Theatrical". Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  16. ^ O'Neal, Sean (June 20, 2013). "Bad Teacher 2 to further explore the badness of teachers". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ London, Derry (April 24, 2014). "'Bad Teacher' From CBS Premieres Tonight at 9:30PM". WTLX 19. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ 'The Crazy Ones' and 'Two and a Half Men' Switch Timeslots + CBS Announces 'Bad Teacher' & 'Unforgettable' Premieres
  19. ^ 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[edit]