The red band trailer for Bad Teacher sought to make your jaw drop and ribs ache from laughing at footage of Cameron Diaz using the kind of foul language that could make a sailor blush. Now there's an official approved-for-all-audiences preview for the film, which hopes to still get a rise out of moviegoers.
R-Rated comedy fare like The Hangover or last month's Hall Pass generally come off a bit flat in green band trailers, since the family-friendly previews often have to either neuter, or leave out entirely, the best jokes in the films they advertise. Is that also the case with Bad Teacher?
Here's an official synopsis for Bad Teacher, to help jog your memory:
Cameron Diaz plays foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate teacher Elizabeth. She drinks, she gets high, and she can't wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she's dumped by her fiancé, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) – competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague, Amy (Lucy Punch). When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher (Jason Segel), the consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, her coworkers, and even herself an education like no other.
Now check out the official Bad Teacher trailer (via Yahoo! Movies) below:
Bad Teacher was scripted by The Office staff writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and the footage revealed so far reminds me of their work on Year One - but not in a good way. The duo's prehistoric comedy threw just about every joke in the book (crude one-liners, physical comedy gags, over-the-top punchlines) at the screen a mile a minute, in the hopes that something would stick. Year One tried so hard to squeeze as many chuckles out of the audience as possible, it failed to earn pretty much any.
This same overzealous desire to get viewers to laugh is present in both the red band and official Bad Teacher trailers. Diaz' character could come off as someone who's going out of her way to be shocking and provocative, saying and doing the wrong thing in a very predictable manner. Perhaps its because I've seen this same act done more convincingly, in movies like Bad Santa or in stand-up routines by the likes of Sarah Silverman, that Bad Teacher fails to bring a smile to my face.
So far most of the supporting cast members in Bad Teacher are simply resorting to their usual shticks - but without a whole lot of enthusiasm. Segel's going for charmingly dorky, The Office's Phyllis Smith is meek and understated, Timberlake is riffing on his cool guy image. The fact they've all done these bits many times before (and had better material to work with on previous occasions) doesn't help.
Bad Teacher arrives in theaters this summer on June 24th. Does it look funny to you?