Teaching Mrs Tingle (1999)
Main cast: Helen Mirren (Mrs Tingle), Katie Holmes (Leigh Ann Watson), Barry Watson (Luke Churner), and Liz Stauber (Trudie Tucker)
Director: Kevin Williamson

Now, I chose to watch this over Deep Blue Sea. Big mistake, as I think sharks are much more fun that this surprisingly lifeless movie. Like Cher would sing, If I could turn back time...

Here's why I dragged Mr Giggles to watch this over DBS (his choice). I've had my share of lousy teachers. Once there was this woman who accused me of stealing her money. I was to be suspended for two weeks, until that old hag found her missing purse in the ladies room. She didn't even apologize for dragging my name through the mud. But the principal did give her a nasty scolding - in front of my parents - and that woman bore a grudge on me ever since. When I was to graduate and was applying for a scholarship, that witch actually refused to give me her testimonial. She was my class teacher, mind you, and if she wouldn't sign my application forms, who else would? Luckily my English teacher took pity and signed my forms. That witch almost cost me my future in her spitefulness, hence you can be assured that everytime I scored a bullseye in dartgames, I think of her.

I believe I can emphatize with the characters in this movie. Meet Leigh Ann, a bright student who desperately needs to be valedictorian to get a better college, scholarships, et cetera. She had produced a History report that would certainly help her obtain that... until her teacher Mrs Tingle ripped it to shreds (figuratively) after reading only the first page. Now all Leigh Ann's hopes are banked - slimly - on a final test. To add insult to her humiliation, she might lose the valedictorian title to a spiteful, snobby rich girl who certainly doesn't need it to go to a good (expensive) college.

Her classmates urge her to cheat, with Luke even offering her the smuggled copies of the actual exam questions. Leigh Ann refuses, but ultimately, Mrs Tingle catches her with the leaked questions in her bag. Forget graduation, she is now doomed to waitressing for the rest of her life. Expulsion is nigh.

I really emphatize with Leigh Ann, I really do. I'm not rich, not even when I'm young, and it is irritating and frustrating to see my richer friends who worked less hard go to reputable universities because their families have money and prestige. Me, I burned midnight oil from eight in the evening to three in the morning only to get my brains fried in a so-so university. My brother smooched his way through school and flew off to England. Life can be unfair. I understand Leigh Ann totally.

The three students knock on Mrs Tingle's door to explain things, but things go wrong and they end up injuring that woman. Oh boy. Things go really downhill for the students from here on.

But believe me, this movie is a total bore. Foremost, Helen Mirren plays Mrs Tingle wonderfully. Mrs Tingle is a really hateful, evil hag with an ax to grind on all her students. Yet the script has her being nothing more than a one-dimensional caricature. I know not why she's that hateful. I don't know why she targets Leigh Ann for her evil games. Come to think of it,I don't know why I bother either.

And the three students? Nothing but cardboard characters. They show no emotional depth or anything remotely resembling character. They speak their lines and that's it.

And there's no smart line or scene to keep me from falling asleep in the cinema. How embarrassing!

Rating: 30

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