Movie Review: Dirty Teacher (2013)

Synopsis: Hoping for scholarship money to help her go to college, high school senior, Jamie Hall, becomes increasingly frustrated with her new teacher, Molly Matson, who seems to be purposely giving her poor grades. When Jamie catches her boyfriend, Danny, cheating with Ms. Matson, it sends things in a downward spiral that results in Danny's death and Jamie being accused of murder.

Who's in it? The movie stars Josie Davis, Kelcie Stranahan, Cameron Deane Stewart, Brennan Elliott and Darlene Vogel.

Review: When I picked out this movie on VUDU last night, I mostly did it because the description made me believe it would help my wife overcome the absence of new Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes. It wound up being pretty much what I expected it to be, a film with an OK premise but not-so-great execution.

There were a couple things about this movie that I really didn't enjoy. The main one is, even though the movie is supposedly based on a true story, Ms. Matson (Davis) just wasn't all that believable as a character. A lot of the reason for this, I think, is the film had her almost comic-book-like with her predatory seduction of one of her students (Stewart). I mean, she basically sees him playing baseball and immediately decides to pull out all the stops in an effort to seduce him.

Also not helping this movie was the main protagonist, Jamie (Stranahan), who I thought was a bit of a drama queen and/or a spoiled brat. I honestly stopped liking her a few minutes into the movie, when she was whining about not having a cell phone because her dad was out of work (and just why can't she get a job and pay for it herself?).

I also thought she overreacted over that C she got on her paper. She was telling everyone her teacher was purposely failing her but, last I checked, a C isn't failing and it was just one grade on one assignment. Plus, even if her teacher did have an ulterior motive, the reason she gave for that grade was pretty legit. It sounded to me like Jamie was committing plagiarism and got called out on it.

The ending of this movie needed a lot of work as well. Simply put, it was just too easy because, ultimately, it came down to the sheer luck of having Ms. Matson confess in earshot of a police officer. If it were me writing this script, I would have had one of two things happen. Either have the police notice an obscure clue or mistake that gets them investigating the right person or, my preference, throw in a darker twist that has Jamie being unable to clear her name and ultimately taking the fall.

Heck, I probably would have even taken it a step further and had her gunned down by police as she held a gun to Ms. Matson, just because that would have at least been somewhat unexpected. After all, this is only "based" on a true story. It doesn't need to be 100 percent accurate.

Final Opinion: I think the premise had potential. But, the movie really failed to capitalize on it and just wasn't as good as it could have been.

My Grade: D


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