Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)

High school senior Leigh Ann is hoping to be Valedictorian and get a scholarship so she can go away to college.  Her mother is a waitress and doesn't make much money, so Leigh Ann knows her only shot at college is the scholarship.

Leigh Ann and her best friend Jo Lynn are in Mrs. Tingle's history class.  Tingle only has bad things to say about the students projects, especially Leigh Ann's.  So Leigh Ann is worried about the grade she'll get on her senior project.

Mrs. Tingle is not well liked at school.  As she walks through the hallways, the sea of teenagers parts and kids scurry to get our of her way.  She makes the principal uncomfortable, and has a nasty attitude towards everything and everyone.  She revels in cutting people down and using insinuation and blackmail to get what she wants.

When classmate Luke steals Mrs. Tingle's final exam, Tingle happens to discover Luke with Jo Lynn and Leigh Ann, who unknowingly has the exam in her bag.  When Mrs. Tingle discovers the exam, she threatens to report them to the principal. Not only would this get them expelled, but it would destroy Leigh Ann's chances at the scholarship and college.

That night the three teens head over to Mrs. Tingle's house to try to reason with her. Quite the silly thing to do based on her track record of enjoying torturing her students, but I guess they have to try.  Unfortunately Mrs. Tingle is not a reasonable woman, and doesn't care about their futures.  When Mrs. Tingle is accidentally injured, the three teens panic and try to figure out what to do now that things are horribly out of control.

This is like a dark comedy version of the movie 9 to 5, except not as good.   It's average, with characters doing some ridiculous things.  Like, why the heck are they listening to anything Mrs. Tingle says, or having conversations with her in which they feed her information?  She's a nasty woman who wants to get free and will say anything to turn the kids against each other. Divide and conquer.... although maybe they weren't paying that much attention in history class since she's so horrible.

Also I'm not liking Katie Holmes at all, who is the protagonist. I feel bad for her before she gets involved in all this stuff, but once she does, she's kind of annoying.  She does a good enough job as a milquetoast teen, but I don't know if it's the Tom Cruise thing or if her acting style is more annoying now that more time has gone by.

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