The plot may be predictable enough to fill your escapist summer comedy quota, but it’s also filled with gaping, chuckle-less holes of obviously envelope-pushing awkwardness, including awful racially-charged one-liners courtesy of Year One screenwriters Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. These jokes would work wonders for Jane Lynch and Sue Sylvester, but for some reason they fall flat coming out of Diaz’s mouth. And she’s no stranger to darker comedy (Very Bad Things, The Sweetest Thing). Thankfully, the actually funny parts, including an awesomely bad ballad featuring only words that rhyme with “Sympatico,” and a dolphin/shark debate, weren’t in the trailers. So those giggles are definitely genuine.
Bad Teacher definitely gets an A for effort, never giving up on its vulgar hopes and dreams. But the actual content of these insensitive innuendos deserves something closer to a B (or even a C). Sometimes this sassy satire routine works, taking you off guard and reminding you of this season’s other delightfully rude girl comedy. But a lot of the time it just feels like a junior high hallway at 3:05 p.m: empty. B-