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Overall Rating
1.87

Awesome: 8.6%
Worth A Look: 5.38%
Just Average: 7.53%
Pretty Crappy: 21.51%
Sucks56.99%

6 reviews, 57 user ratings


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Teaching Mrs. Tingle
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by Most Famous Guy In Town

"Some boring kids act dumb in a flick Helen Mirren couldn't save."
2 stars

The most interesting thing about *Teaching Mrs. Tingle* is the name change. Originally titled (for some reason) *Killing Mrs. Tingle*, it was softened up a bit after that Colorado unpleasantness. Because you never know when some kid's going to be playing a quiet game of *DOOM* or *Quake*, see a movie title that suggests offing instructors, and run right out and do some damage.

The second-most interesting thing about *Teaching Mrs. Tingle* was the pre-release uncertainty among movie-goers as to what it was actually about. Watching the trailers, we debated whether it was a high school horror-thriller, a psychodrama or a monster flick where the teacher is some kind of zombie witch. I was hoping for the latter.

Unfortunately, it's kind of all three, and it's a real mess. This is the first script Kevin Williamson -- of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty and Dawson's Creek fame -- ever completed, and it was so dear to his heart he had to make it his directorial debut. The unfortunate result is the sloppy, uneven, product of a first-time director collaborating with a novice screenwriter (both of whom totally agree with each other), a movie absorbed in its own movieness, stunningly boring.

The plot goes something like this. The unbelievably mean and evil Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren) is bent on wrecking the life of earnest A-student and aspiring writer Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes). Why? Well, we don't really find out until about two-thirds of the way through the movie. Until then, Tingle is just some kind of teen-hating sadistic monster.

Despite this lack of focus and motivation given the character, Mirren almost manages to salvage watchability from the wreckage of the script through sheer force of thespian will. As if sensing the fundamental weakness of the drama, she compensates -- perhaps even overcompensates -- with a fiercely ice-hot performance. This contrasts sharply with the adorably fretful characterizations given us by Holmes and Marisa Coughlan as her aspiring-actress/sexpot sidekick Jo Lynn as they bumble their way through this increasingly implausible caper.

You see, Leigh Ann needs a good mark in Tingle's history class to make valedictorian, thus earing a scholarship, thus going to college, thus avoiding the table-waiting fate that snared her mother (Lesley Ann Warren). Tingle's caught her in an apparent act of cheating, thanks to alcoholic dumbass poster-boy Luke (Barry Watson), so our trio sets off to Tingle's house one night to set the record straight and make sure our little writer gets out of Smallville. What follows is a boring movie about a bad plan gone worse, a battle of wits between an evil genius and two stupid girls, a eyeglazing love triangle, and a bunch of not very sly references to many far superior films.

With the exception of Mirren, the performances here are uniformly weak, not that the cast had much to work with. Holmes and Coughlan are completely hopeless in their roles, failing at every turn to evoke the feelings of pants-crapping terror girls in this situation would surely endure. Watson just mopes around looking sullen and pretty, and I nearly wept when I saw Jeffrey Tambor (of Larry Sanders fame) make such a sorry buffoon of himself. Ick.

As a final insult, and a painfully obvious attempt to make a few bucks in the CD racks, *Teaching Mrs. Tingle* features the most hideously intrusive and annoying soundtracking I've come across. The cheeseball score alternates with blaring college-rock singles in the most unbelievably jaring manner possible, with the alt-pop tracks at so high a volume that at times they drown out the dialogue.

Is Williamson sush a mighty famous bigshot that nobody dared tell him that his precious first script wasn't turning into a very good film? I'm sure this unfortunate little flick won't stop his jet-powered career. Just hope he's had his fill of directing.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=732&reviewer=64
originally posted: 10/19/99 13:11:50
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User Comments

6/28/11 art only saving grace Marisa Coughlin as a Hammy Actress!,that was Super! 3 stars
9/29/10 art i take back what i said 2 years ago,THIS MOVIE STINK"S!!!! 1 stars
4/09/09 Dane Youssef Mirren practically has to carry this whole thing. Williamson shortchanges everything else. 3 stars
2/03/08 art a fantastic thriller it'll have you on the edge of your seat katie holmes is a HAM only dra 4 stars
10/05/06 Charles Tatum Not THAT bad, Mirren shows the young cast how it is DONE 4 stars
10/02/06 Beau A weird portrayal of student teacher relationships, great film, good acting by katie holme 3 stars
5/05/06 Ashley Hinz Strangely interesting. 4 stars
1/08/06 aimless Good Performances by Coughlin and Mirren are wasted on this crap 2 stars
8/22/05 Amanda I loved the movie, Helen Mirren is amazing and beautiful 5 stars
7/06/04 American Slasher Goddess Bland and tedious. 1 stars
9/12/03 poop butts The movie reminded me of my name 1 stars
8/17/03 walter feegis sucks, sucks, sucked, and by the way it stunk 1 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby Limited premise fleshed out just enough. Coughlin is sexy and sensational! 3 stars
3/12/02 Melinda St. George A tingling guilty pleasure especially if you've ever had a similar teacher from hell! 5 stars
10/23/01 Sthenno So hideously bad,I love it! Katie Holmes makes me wanna rip my face off! SUXS! 1 stars
8/13/01 Jake Who gave this director the right to the poison the earth???!!!! 1 stars
8/06/01 ted v. i wasn't expecting much from this movie, but it made me think again 4 stars
6/02/01 Thrillhouse Williamson, let me tell you something. Your movies SUCK. And this SUCKED even worse. 1 stars
4/09/01 Gary Good movie! 4 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L Helen Mirren deserves better than this. Molly Ringwald is a moron 1 stars
2/08/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi A plague on everyone who had anything to do with this movie. 1 stars
2/04/01 Kate This film died in the credits and kept rotting, only watching John P. White kept me awake! 2 stars
10/31/00 Ground Zero Shame on you, Kevin! 1 stars
10/03/00 sweet-xtacy i thought it was a good movie, especially cuz we think teachers are like that 5 stars
9/22/00 Jacques Strap Can I give it 0 stars? It was that awful! 1 stars
9/02/00 Mr. Montell Not Kevin's best endeavor, but still sorta fun, and Barry Watson is surprisingly likable 5 stars
6/05/00 Bender No surprizes, but still a decent time-killer 3 stars
5/02/00 Amy It was fabulous! 1 stars
4/28/00 Pansy Goddam stupid. How humiliating. 1 stars
4/12/00 Rita Why, Molly? Why?!! 1 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs Average. Katie Holmes... not that good. Barry Watson total crap. 1 stars
3/08/00 Mr. Kramitall Note to Williamson: Get another carrer, you backstabbing yuppie! 1 stars
2/05/00 Kyle Broflovski *YAAAAAAAAWN!!!* What? Sorry...I must've dozed off... 1 stars
1/01/00 sally crap 1 stars
11/27/99 Joel Harwood worth a few stars 5 stars
11/22/99 Ralf Behet Despite the likeable cast a lame flick. Williamson's script is just lousy! 2 stars
11/02/99 Alyce Callaghan Excellent 5 stars
10/26/99 Feral Cliched and tediously unbelievable. A great cast is horribly wasted in this tepid feature ! 2 stars
10/23/99 Belinda Helen Mirren is the star 3 stars
10/11/99 Buttman Right on with the review, Movie Freek! Suck on this, Williamson! 1 stars
10/09/99 Viral Messiah 90 minutes of boring hell 1 stars
10/03/99 Joe Schmoe Screw Kevin Williamson and his momma 1 stars
9/29/99 Orgazmo Do Kevin Williamson a favor and teach him a lesson in being funny, straight faced me 1 stars
9/19/99 Admiral Crunch Haven't Katie Holmes been in a good movie? I agree 100% with Doc JTR. This sucks! 1 stars
9/15/99 Ratso All I know is that where ever Katie Holmes goes, bad 90's rock follows. 1 stars
9/10/99 Timbo I pray you're all good waitresses 2 stars
9/06/99 John H Bad . . . just really bad 1 stars
9/05/99 Dr. Worm Good acting (Mirren, Holmes, Coughlan, Watson) & all-around fun (despite inconclusive end) 5 stars
9/04/99 agustin i wanted tingle to win 2 stars
9/01/99 Malbert Better than I expected-The actress who played Holmes's friend was great 3 stars
9/01/99 David It Sucked Ass.... 1 stars
8/26/99 Cory Clawson Only thing good in the movie was Katie Holmes 2 stars
8/23/99 BOB I've seen better movies out of my ass 1 stars
8/20/99 Ah Dooey OKAY, what's with those Dawson's Creek casts?! 1 stars
8/11/99 Stevie Ray This movie looks like shit, and has Katie Holmes been in a good movie yet? No! Why bother? 1 stars
1/24/99 Dark Horizons uninteresting premise+dull and shallow characters+bad ending 2 stars
1/06/99 The Dude very wierd movie-can't wait 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  20-Aug-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Oct-1999 (MA)




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