November 14, 2011

Was "Bad Teacher" first Post-Obama hit movie?

Last summer's comedy Bad Teacher, with Cameron Diaz as a bad teacher, finished up in domestic theaters with exactly $100 million in box office revenue (plus another $115 million abroad), which is a lot for a comedy with a $20 million budget. A friend argues that Bad Teacher represents perhaps the first distinctly Post-Obama hit movie, a scalding reaction to the sanctimoniousness that propelled Obama to the White House. Perhaps.

47 comments:

another matt said...

That might have been the rationale that got the film made, but the rationale that got it seen and made it money was more likely as follows:

Cameron Diaz still looks pretty good

American men came of age fantasizing about schoolteachers, and that stays with you

Blacks want to see everything Justin Timberlake does

Oh, hey, that lady from the Office

Unbelieveable said...

OT: a new low in media reporting - multiple Chicago-area stations run story about shot 6 yr child, along with photo of him throwing gang signs...so media blurs out his fingers!!

Marshown Means, 6-year-old shot in the chest, gang banger in training?

http://www.chicagonewsreport.com/2011/11/marshown-means-6-year-old-shot-in-chest.html

Anonymous said...

I go automatically to any movie imdb users love but the sanctimonious free associating Roger Ebert hates. This one imdb users seemed to hate as well, so I gave it a miss. But now I'm thinking it's worth an Amazon rental. I fail to see how it could make $100 million in ticket sales if the movie is as lousy as the public polls suggest.

Anonymous said...

I think The Hangover, while less calculatingly anti-PC and probably also less entertaining, is more definitive as the against-the-grain hit for the times. Compared with the 50s-60s most H'wood releases are fairly sanctimonious now, even the moronic college guy flicks.

Anonymous said...

Are we ever going to get a thread about Anonymous?

Sheesh - and to think that this was supposed to have been a Paleocon board.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

http://www.chicagonewsreport.com/2011/11/marshown-means-6-year-old-shot-in-chest.html


I don't think many people have come to terms with the fact that a large cohort of our citizens is literally incapable of participating in a market economy. They are so present-oriented they have no marketable skills. They wouldn't even be able to justify the caloric input for slavery.

aNONYMOUS said...

Key asset for Bad Teacher timing-wise was being released after a decent interval following the film that launched a thousand op-eds, Waiting for "Superman"

Do 2009 releases count? You could make a case for The Hurt Locker. Internet progressives certainly seem to hate that one, almost peevishly.

Kaz said...

Hah wow, I don't know one person who saw this movie, what kind of people were watching this?

beowulf said...

I'll throw a bone for Whiskey to chew on:
Cameron Diaz keeps getting older, yet the girls her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake dates keep getting younger.

Oh and he was part of perhaps the funniest skit/music video Saturday Night Live ever broadcast.(NSFW).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0DeIqJm4vM

Scarlet Knight said...

Your friend is reaching.

Anonymous said...

Cameron Diaz still looks pretty good

Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 - she'll be FORTY next summer.

Yikes!

Now allow me to set up a question with a little background as to my thinking.

On another board tonight, someone started a thread for the new Dr Who movie, and was asking about candidates for the various roles.

For a young-ish Dr Who, I posited Rhys Ifans; for an older Dr Who, I offered Ciarán Hinds.

Now the companion has to be Kelly Macdonald - that's not even negotiable.

But then I got to thinking - Kelly Macdonald was born in 1976, ergo she's now 35 years old.

So what would you do if you wanted a YOUNGER companion for Dr Who?

Kate Winslet was born in 1975, as were Christina Hendricks & Charlize Theron.

Kate Beckinsale was born in 1973.

Cate Blanchett was born in 1969.

And then it started to dawn on me that I don't know of any "serious" young actresses in the movies nowadays.

So then I headed over to Box Office Mojo and looked at some of the top-grossing movies of the last few years, and was just stunned at what a desolate wasteland it is out there.

And now here's my question: Can anyone name a really serious "movie" actress who is less than 30 years old?

Remember, 30 means that she was born no later than 1981 [and, given that it's November already, realistically that means 1982].

I honestly can't think of one off the top of my head.

PS: I just checked the cast of Smallville - Allison Mack & Kristin Kreuk were both born in 1982 [so they're about to turn 30], and Erica Durance was born in 1978 - making her a whopping 33!!!

DOUBLE YIKES!!

TRIPLE YIKES!!!

AACCCKKKK!!!!!

Anonymous said...

URL - the cast of Smallville

edgy gurl said...

You guys don't just suck, you slurp. Where's Sailer? Is he really dead? I kinda hate him yet miss him at the same time. The guy's like a bad drug.

Could you at least try a little more explication of your theory? Like:

Everyone knows that no teacher who looks like Cameron Diaz would make it into her 30's without snagging a rich husband. Still, I suspended my disbelief long enough to give the director a chance to tell the story.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned the Dr Who movie.

Ive been saying to anyone who will listen that Richard E. Grant should play the Dr. He would be great!

It helps if you have seen Withnail and I.

Truth said...

"A friend argues that Bad Teacher represents perhaps the first distinctly Post-Obama hit movie, a scalding reaction to the sanctimoniousness that propelled Obama to the White House. Perhaps."

You intellectuals have WAY too much free time.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of subversive scenes in that movie, but the most shocking one to a modern sensibility is this one:


Elizabeth Halsey: Look Carl, I know that you are a very busy man; so I'm just gonna get right down to it. I've been speaking to various...uh...black citizens, who allege that your tests are biased toward white people and orientals.

Carl Halabi: Okay. Lemme tell you something right away. "A"... Orientals test better. "B"... every couple of years we get these cockamamie charges coming in from various parts of the state and - lemme duh-dat - You should hear the things that they call me! Racist. Faggatron. Faggy Hitler. Dick breath. Ok? But, I... am not a racist. I voted for Barack Obama. You can quote me on that.


WOW. Ok, that might be the first time I've ever seen accusations of "racism" played for laughs as a completely bogus, cynical charge in a mainstream Hollywood movie.

Steve Sailer said...

"Can anyone name a really serious "movie" actress who is less than 30 years old?"

Looking through my reviews: Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikiowska(sp?), Jennifer Lawrence, Saoirse Ronan, Hailee Steinfeld, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Kristen Stewart, and Anne Hathaway. Michelle Williams recently turned 30, as did Zooey Deschanel.

I don't think there's any shortage of talented young actresses, although it may take longer to make the top these days. Consider Amy Adams, who is a beautiful woman adept at comedy, drama, and singing. But it took her until her late 20s to get a breakout role in a low budget film (Junebug).

In general, movies can be divided into big budget movies aimed at teenage males and low budget prestige films. Neither category is particularly oriented toward coming up with very young, very talented actresses.

TGGP said...

I was going to mention that girl from "Winter's Bone", but Steve beat me to it. I had to check wikipedia to get the name though. The adults in that movie are all worthless, which helps to highlight the incongruity of the mature responsible youngster.

I suppose the HBD thing to say is that screwy parents are going to have screwy kids, but we like movies about the unusual exceptions that help give Malcolm Gladwell a career.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Who's going to play Obama in the inevitable Bin Laden action and the inevitable Obama biopic?

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Bad Teacher is an example of a brilliant concept of a movie going flat. Too schmaltzy.

But I guess dark comedies don't usually sell $120 million.

Steve Sailer said...

Jennifer Lawrence was good again in the Mel Gibson "Beaver," but she was lousy in X-Men First Class, but not as bad as Mrs. Don Draper.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

but not as bad as Mrs. Don Draper.

Ah yes, January Jones. So breathtakingly beautiful but such a bad actress. Except, that is, in the one role she is known for: Betty Draper. I think she's been very effective in Mad Men, maybe because the character is herself rather stiff, withdrawn, and uncomfortable. I wonder which came first. Did they initially conceive of the character that way, or did they just decide to go with the only way Jones could play it?

agnostic said...

I didn't see it, but was it as scalding to the Obama age as Dirty Harry or Death Wish was to the liberal orthodoxy of the middle 20th century?

commonwealth contrarian said...

I wonder what the Occupy Wall Street's favourite movie of 2011 was?

Oh sorry I forgot, giving ranks to movies would be way too judemental and 20th Century for those global citizens, it bit like deciding what they are actually protesting about and electing a coherent spokesman (sorry spokeperson of colour).

Anonymous said...

Agnostic, I neglected to mention Dirty Harry a few weeks ago in that post about the end of hippie illusions, but it was surely the movie that laid the last sods of dirt on the idea of coming to San Francisco with a flower in you hair.
Gilbert P.

Steve Sailer said...

Mr. Pinfold:

Right, Dirty Harry makes San Francisco look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Dirty Harry, what ever happened to the stereotype of the tough Irish-American cop?

Anonymous said...

Looking through my reviews: Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikiowska(sp?), Jennifer Lawrence, Saoirse Ronan, Hailee Steinfeld, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Kristen Stewart, and Anne Hathaway. Michelle Williams recently turned 30, as did Zooey Deschanel.

I had thought of Keira Knightley, because I had just seen her on television the other day, in King Arthur, and immediately dismissed her as being too scrawny and too butch.

Dr Who's companion needs some curves, and she needs to ooze a sense of female sexuality [even if only in a "sexy librarian" kinduva way].

I also thought of Scarlett Johansson - she has the curves, but she doesn't have "it" - whatever the "it" is that you would want for Dr Who. Her brand of glassy-eyed deer-in-the-headlights bimbo stupidity was perfect for Pearl Earring, and even for Black Dahlia, but it wouldn't work for Dr Who's companion.

Didn't think of Anne Hathaway, but, as Dr Who's companion, she would just scream "camp" - and I don't want a "campy" Dr Who movie, I want a sober Dr Who movie [ideally with the look & feel of, say, something like Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and preferably with some serious, adult-oriented turn of events, like, say, Dr Who's companion actually getting pregnant, and Dr Who being confronted with the spectre of becoming a father (maybe the baby could be born in the sequel)].

Zooey Deschanel? See camp, as above. [She also has very sharp, boney lines - and, to reiterate, Dr Who's lady friends need some meat on them.]

Beyond that, I really don't know any of the other chicks.

PS: Sitting here thinking about it, if Lindsay Lohan weren't a kleptomaniacal drug-addled sanitarium escapee, and if she could manage a plausible British accent, then she might actually fit the bill - she's got the rack that you would want in a Dr Who companion [easily C-cups, maybe even D-cups during that time of the month when she's retaining water], and she also has the twinkle in her eye that she would need to keep up with Dr Who's pace of action. And she was born in 1985, so she's only 26.

PPS: If you want to see the PERFECT companion movie, then get ahold of a copy of The Girl in the Café. Ignore all of the idiotic de-rigueur BBC political correctness, and just concentrate on the chemistry between Kelly Macdonald & Bill Nighy [Victor in the Underworld franchise] - holy cow, is it a monumental performance.

If you've only ever seen her in No Country, then you've got but just the slightest hint of what's in her repertoire.

beowulf said...

Jennifer Lawrence is rather awesome. In real life, her character would enlist in the Army the day after high school and never look back (the recruiter in Winter Bone was played by a real Army recruiter).

What's interesting about the movie Zodiac is watching Inspector Dave Toschi's visceral dislike of Dirty Harry (he walks out of the film premiere) and yet... The likely suspect to be the Zodiac killer walked because the police in the 1970s were inefficient and, frankly, not hard-nosed enough.
For example, the suspect was a convicted felon found in possession of a rifle, yet the cops let him go. Today he'd automatically be kicked to the Feds for a mandatory 5 year sentence on a gun charge.

Marlowe said...

Personally I think liberals have just finally arrived at the Stalinist position: when the Five Year Plan to turn blacks into geniuses like the President doesn't appear to have worked shoot a lot of people at the bottom who have obviously failed to carry out their duties correctly. The Plan cannot have failed therefore the people tasked with putting it into operation have. Eliminate the wreckers.

Plus: Hollywood executives & producers don't generally send their children to state schools. Or the ones they do attend are full of the children of rich Hollywood executives. I doubt that criticizing the average state employed, unionized high school teacher bothers these guys much.

Drawbacks said...

Here's a line from Dirty Harry that's stood the test of time:
"You're working with Gonzalez, or you're not working - and that's straight from the fifth floor!"

milam command said...

Bad Teacher really is the first movie to go capture post-hopey/changey cynicism zeitgeist.
Very strange, this movie. It did good business and, like you, I thought it was hilarious--but it got bad reviews on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Amazon.

Best line, by Amy Squirrel at the end:

"When the superintendent personally asks you to work at one of the worst schools in the state, well, you say yes! And boy I am looking forward to bringing my brand of zany energy to those under privileged students, at Malcolm X High School. "

edgy gurl said...

"Right, Dirty Harry makes San Francisco look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland."

Some would argue that this is true on certain levels.

Anonymous said...

Right, Dirty Harry makes San Francisco look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Hey, Clint knows his hometown!

Anonymous said...

WOW, it's infuriating to try to follow these threads when Steve is plucking comments off the top of the LIFO stack*.

GOD IN HEAVEN why can't the geniuses at Google [who own blogger/blogspot] order the comments correctly for him?



*Which, from our flat-file HTML point of view, gives a sense of utter & complete randomness to the changes in the webpage.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who's talking about actresses, are you male or female?

Marlowe said...

Just to prove Britain leads the world I would like to point to the Channel 4 TV series Teachers (2001-04) which did everything this movie did week after week for several years on UK television. Nonetheless, the Left PC panzer division rolls on unaffected. In fact the persons most likely to enjoy a depiction of bad teacher behaviour (profanity, casual sex, drug usage, alcoholism, lack of any ability at teaching) are The Guardian readership (mostly composed of teachers in state schools and colleges).

Anonymous said...

Male.

Bible Belt.

LOVE the British actresses.

And the older I get, the more repulsive I find the look of "heroin chic".

[Heroine chic?]

E.g. the current look of Victoria's Secret [anorexic, with silicone racks] doesn't interest me in the least.

20 years, the VS models actually had some baby fat on them.

Anonymous said...

"20 years," = "20 years ago,"


sorry - typing with a baby on my lap

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

I fail to see how it could make $100 million in ticket sales if the movie is as lousy as the public polls suggest.

Two words: Adam Sandler.

He has never made a decent movie that didn't star Drew Barrymore.

And now here's my question: Can anyone name a really serious "movie" actress who is less than 30 years old?

Natalie Portman was born in '81, if you count her as "serious" - she didn't do too horribly in "Thor," though it wasn't really a demanding role. I've almost forgiven her for "V" and for the Star Wars triple disaster.

For lead Dr. Who girl I nominate the Irishwoman looks the part and can play both serious and camp. She'll be 32 next month.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Improperly coded my reco for Dr. Who girl: that sould be Elaine Cassidy ("Felicia's Journey" and "The Others").

Anonymous said...

Just glancing through her IMDB credits, I think I can honestly say that I have no earthly idea who Elaine Cassidy is [although I did once watch "The Others"].

Kudzu Bob said...

Anonymous who's talking about actresses, are you male or female?

One presumes so.

Anonymous said...

Natalie Portman

Sorry - by "serious", I meant [among other things] "can actually act".

David said...

>I want a sober Dr Who movie [...preferably with some serious, adult-oriented turn of events...].<

LOL. Dr. Who is a kid's TV show (no matter how old its audience is).

Truth said...

"Anonymous who's talking about actresses, are you male or female?

One presumes so."

LMAO; keep your eyes out for English Professor Bob's shark fin!

Mark Caplan said...

BAD TEACHER earned a 31% Fresh rating from the "Top Critics" on Rotten Tomatoes. Since such non-luminaries as Jeremy Heilman (MovieMartyr.com), Felix Vasquez Jr (Cinema Crazed), and Anders Wotzke (Cut Print Review) constitute the "Top Critics" on Rotten Tomatoes, does Steve or any of you others know what criteria R.T. uses to elevate a movie critic to that august and coveted title?