Main cast: Helen Mirren (Eve Tingle), Katie Holmes (Leigh Ann Watson), Barry Watson (Luke Churner), Liz Stauber (Trudie Tucker), Jeffrey Tambor (Coach Richard ‘Spanky’ Wenchell), Michael McKean (Principal Potter), Lesley Ann Warren (Faye Watson), Molly Ringwald (Miss Banks), Vivica A Fox (Miss Gold), and John Patrick White (Brian Berry)
Director: Kevin Williamson
I believe I can empathize 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 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.
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, Teaching Mrs Tingle 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!