Sunday, November 15, 2009
Teaching Mrs. Tingle
Teaching Mrs. Tingle; Black comedy, USA, 1999; D: Kevin Williamson, S: Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Barry Watson, Marisa Coughlan, Jeffrey Tambor
Leigh Ann is just a few days short from high school graduation. She plans to get a college scholarship, but in order to get a perfect score, she needs an A in history. That subject is taught by Mrs. Tingle, the worst teacher in school, and when she finds a copy of a final exam at the innocent Ann, she decides to lower her grade. But the exam was actually stolen by Ann's friends, Luke and Jordan, so the three of them goes to Mrs. Tingle's house to straighten out the misunderstanding. She ignores them, so they attack her and tie her up to the bed. They advise her to raise Ann's grade, but Mrs. Tingle still confidently thinks they will land in jail. When a school coach knocks on the door, they discover their affair. Mrs. Tingle frees herself, takes a crossbow and fires at Ann, but only hits a book of a passerby girl. When the principal sees that, he fires her, whereas Ann gets her scholarship.
Mediocre school satire "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" was directed by first time director Kevin Williamson (the screenwriter of the acclaimed "Scream" trilogy) in a too mild and uninventive way. In the end, it looks like an overstretched, but more darker episode of his soap opera show "Dawson's Creek" which also starred Katie Holmes. Without highlights and unconvincing, but Helen Mirren still gives it her best shot anyway and is very good as the malevolent Mrs. Tingle, who even manages to deceive and manipulate the students when she is tied up to her bed (though it was never explained how she went to the toilet all that time) whereas the ending is proportionally ironic.