“At least Bad Teacher offers opportunities to ponder an evergreen pop-culture conundrum: At what point do professional performers with evident talent and a proven ability to make smart choices realize they’re trapped in a film that — due to lazy writing, style-free direction and visual design, and a general refusal to aim above the lowest common denominator — simply can’t be good?
“What compels someone like Justin Timberlake — so charismatically contemptible in The Social Network, so often a saving grace on SNL — to take a role centered on a cringe-worthy set-piece involving him dry-humping his real-life ex-girlfriend? Are actresses like Cameron Diaz and Lucy Punch really cool with punishing material based on the worst male-invented stereotypes of the way women deceptively control men and compete with one another? If they’re at all conscious of what they’ve gotten into, did they try to make it better, or did they submit to mediocrity because, you know, fuck it — the check cleared?
“Are they so far inside that they can’t possibly gauge what the fix they’re in might look like from the outside?” — from Karina Longworth‘s L.A. Weekly review.
Answer: The cast of Bad Teacher submitted to mediocrity because, you know, fuck it….the check cleared.