Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)
After the success of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and television's Dawson's Creek, screenwriter Kevin Williamson made his directorial debut with this screwball thriller in which an honor roll student and two friends kidnap their witchy teacher. Although her single mom (Lesley Ann Warren), a waitress, struggles to make ends meet, aspiring writer Leigh Ann Watson (Katie Holmes) works hard, avoids sexual temptation, and focuses on her studies. She hopes to make valedictorian and earn a scholarship to college -- and get away from her dead-end hometown. As her senior year draws to a close, however, she's dogged by harsh grades from her vituperative history instructor, Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren). On the same day she finds out that she's still in second place behind fellow valedictory candidate Mary Beth Carter (Liz Stauber), Leigh Ann must endure Mrs. Tingle's fierce criticism of the final project into which she's poured her heart. After commiserating with her best friend, aspiring actress Jo Lynn Jordan (Marisa Coughlan), and hunky stoner Luke Churner (Barry Watson), Leigh Ann runs even further afoul of Mrs. Tingle; Luke stashes an advance copy of the teacher's final exam in Leigh Ann's backpack and Tingle discovers it, promising to turn Leigh Ann in for cheating and ruin her chances of a better life. When the three teens turn up at Tingle's house to try to reason with her, Luke and Jo Lynn manage to accidentally kidnap Mrs. Tingle. Soon the three students are keeping their teacher a prisoner, trying to figure out how to blackmail her into silence while maintaining the illusion that nothing strange is going on. Teaching Mrs. Tingle was filmed under the name "Killing Mrs. Tingle," but the title was changed after a rash of real-life high school killing sprees made the headlines. … More
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Critic Reviews for Teaching Mrs. Tingle
As a routinely cruel, often vicious, miserably unhappy teacher, Mirren offers a complex, brilliantly disciplined performance!
The movie needs a few more ideas and a lot more thrills to excite viewers, whether young or old.
Teaching Mrs. Tingle is funny, smart and full of unpredictable twists and turns.
A screenful of nothingness!
Helen Mirren's acting stands out in this mean-spirited dark comedy like an original Picasso in a paint-by-numbers art show.
Here you have a movie in which three teenagers go to a teacher's house and take her hostage. Either you go all the way with that premise, or you don't go there at all.
The film's plot runs as smoothly as a Yugo with sand in the transmission and aside from a few well-acted moments, the film falls apart quicker than a paper mache space shuttle.
The moral to the story, if any, is rather vague, as are Mrs. Tingle's motives.
Williamson breaks a cardinal rule of good writing: Audiences will play by any rules you choose to establish, but you can't change them in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Teaching Mrs. Tingle deserves to flunk out.
This flaccid exercise suggests Williamson should spend less time on storyboards and more time at his laptop.
Mirren singlehandedly rescues the project from being pointless nonsense; this brilliant actress can communicate more with a twitch of a lip or a well-timed flick of her eyelashes than anyone else in the cast can with pages of dialogue.
If the movie is never necessarily boring, it also is rarely interesting.
Audience Reviews for Teaching Mrs. Tingle
Yes, this may have had a bunch of 90s teen stars, but that doesn't mean it wasn't also a good teen movie. The characters are relate-able, although the situation isn't. This movie has a good balance between thrills and laughs, I liked it.More
Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren) is a teacher who is hated by almost everyone, including students and even most of the other faculty members. Mrs. Tingle seems to have a dislike for everyone, even if they're super smart, such as Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes). Leigh Ann must be the valedictorian in order to get a scholarship and have a chance to attend college. It seems like the only obstacle in her way is Mrs. Tingle's judgement.
"Teaching Mrs. Tingle" wasn't a bad movie at all. Helen Mirren does a spectacular job playing as the dreaded Mrs. Tingle, and the movie is very interesting, especially after you find out what Leigh Ann's and two of her friends' plans are to do with Mrs. Tingle.
Just as long as you like interesting movies that don't get boring, give "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" a chance! It just might teach you a lesson. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Never expected to like this one much, a surprise.
this was an alright movie, helen mirren is playing the teacher who is basically a bitch and is trying to ruin thiis student whose working hard for scholarship played by katie holmes and even though it has some comiic value they are short and fair between so its an watchable movie!More
Teaching Mrs. Tingle is never really funny enough, thrilling enough or even consistent to be considered a great success. It is however a damn entertaining ride. Like a less serious version of Swimming with Sharks. It's the little guy getting their own back on a corrupt system. Mirren is absolutely fantastic as a supposed victim who is incredibly deceptive and manipulative. She's scene stealing and a great villain. The film fails due to the sudden escalation of events and I'm not talking about the hostage scenario. It turns from Holmes wishing to explain she wasn't going to cheat to her actually cheating and changing her grades. This would be okay if there was some punishment or at least a deeper exploration into the consequences. The ending is far too light as well, a more tragic ending would have worked out so much better for the film as a whole. Still a fun watch, especially for those oppressed students.More
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