As seen in No Strings Attached and the recent trailer for Bridesmaids, 2011 is the year that females return to officially assert their raunchy comedy dominance, and remind everyone that they can get wasted and talk about fucking just as well as any man. So it’s no surprise to see Cameron Diaz doing that sort of stuff again; after all, the whole R-rated lady gig had its last apex with Diaz movies like There’s Something About Mary and The Sweetest Thing, and Diaz probably knows that she needs to come mark her territory before Malin Akerman fully usurps her.
Thus we have Bad Teacher—a comedy whose resemblance to Bad Santa goes well beyond its title—concerning Diaz as a pot-smoking, foulmouthed misanthrope who is nevertheless charged with nurturing young minds, and who is somehow unable to find the sugar daddy of her dreams despite looking like Cameron Diaz. But she finds renewed purpose after Justin Timberlake arrives as an awkward substitute teacher, clad in nerdy glasses and tweed to signify he’s an easy mark, and boasting a family fortune that makes him the target of Diaz’s aggressive advances—much to the disappointment of the likable yet schlubby gym teacher played by Jason Segel.
Judging from this NSFW trailer, the script by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (of Year One and the prospective Ghostbusters III) seems to rely pretty heavily on hearing Diaz exclaim things like, “Fuck my ass”—and there’s a gratuitous car wash sequence in there that makes a similar scene from Bring It On seem like crucial character-building—but adults saying nasty things to kids is still a solid comedic premise. Even though it’s incredibly likely that Diaz learns to love her students and ends up with the gym teacher who really loves her and blah blah blah. We’re not holding out hope that the film ends with, say, Diaz getting shot eight times. Anyway, extra credit for bravely turning over almost this entire preview to The Office’s Phyllis Smith, who seems poised to walk away with the whole movie.