God help me, I laughed.
Full disclosure, I’ve not actually seen any of the BBC3 TV series and I’m Cornish, so I can’t say I had particularly high hopes from The Bad Education Movie. Being set in the literal heaven on Earth that is Cornwall was naturally going to elevate any film but even so, this looked too much like toilet humour for my tastes.
Yes, I really am Cornish. No, I didn’t need a helper monkey to type this for me. Screw you Emmet.
The Bad Education Movie follows Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall), a secondary school teacher more childish than his students. Wickers is trying to organise a post GCSE school trip with his class to Las Vegas and due to an unpleasant incident in the classroom, this gets revised into a trip to Cornwall with the Trunchbullish Susan Poulter (Joanna Scanlan), one of the parents, acting as a chaperone.
What follows is pretty much what you’d expect – a low-budget British comedy full of toilet humour and casual Cornish racism. Exactly the sort of film that I would normally avoid as it’s not my taste when it comes to comedy.
Somehow though, it worked much more often than I expected it would. Jokes range from chuckles all the way up to out loud laughter but The Bad Education Movie does succeed more often than it fails, if, admittedly, often in the so-bad-it’s-good category. There are a few class based jokes in there and even a couple of in-jokes for the Cornish, which was a pleasant surprise (certainly, no-one else in the screen full of Londoners seemed to get them). Mostly, it’s toilet humour and dick jokes but Whitehall throws himself into them with so much abandon that they work when otherwise they probably wouldn’t.
Most of the remaining cast are perfectly fine, with Iain Glen’s (Ser Jorah “Friend Zone” Mormont from Game of Thrones) Pasco being a stand out, even if some of the accents were way, way off. Mostly, they are just there to react to Whitehall’s wacky expressions and they work well enough for me not to complain.
I reviewed Hot Pursuit recently and I was pretty scathing, basing most of my venom on the fact that a comedy ought to be funny to at least someone and oddly enough I feel more offended by that piece of garbage than I do The Bad Education Movie, that actually tries to be mildly offensive. The Cornish racism is pretty constant but nothing more than you’d expect from jealous foreigners (yes, that means you, English) and never really gets too bad and in the meantime there are enough genuine laughs here to make the experience worthwhile.
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