Since Bad Teacher doesn't open until Friday, I can't say for certain if the movie will turn out to be as hilarious as it looks. (Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel? It has to be good!) But I can already tell that I love Cameron Diaz as the title character: That withering glare, those sudden volcanic flashes of rage erupting from an intimidatingly deadpan face, the way she wields sex appeal like it's a weapon (which, of course, we all know it is) ... it all adds up to comedy gold. That's why I was disappointed by Diaz's appearance on Late Night With David Letterman last night. Between her accidental stiletto-stab into Dave's foot and her super-awkward reenactment of the moment she got caught onscreen feeding popcorn to A-Rod, Diaz was way more goofball than goddess. And for some reason, I don't buy it.
It's not that there's anything wrong with being a silly surfer chick (Diaz waxed rhapsodic for a rather long time on the mystical nature of riding the waves), and I believe that the star really does like to go surfing and probably has a good solid dose of authentic California hippie running through her veins. What struck me, though, was how uncomfortable the real Cameron seems with her inherent hotness. It was like she was deploying every distraction possible to make people forget she's sexy: Clumsy antics, funny faces, stoner lingo.
The thing is, I kind of get it. When you look like Cameron Diaz, it's gotta be an uphill battle to get taken seriously in Hollywood, particularly for your comedy skills. She probably developed her anti-sexy act as a defense mechanism years ago. But it doesn't work, and it doesn't fit her well, either. When Diaz unleashes her ruthless inner vixen the way she does in Bad Teacher, she's more than mindlessly sexy, she's powerful. That's why I wish Cameron Diaz would use her powers for good (or bad, as it were) rather than try to pretend they don't exist at all. Just watch her in action:
Do you think Cameron Diaz is better when she's bad?
Image via Sony Pictures