Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Bomb Rating: 

Incidentally, does anybody else think John Gray is an alien?

I hate to point out the obvious, but Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren) resembles a real person inasmuch as Kevin Williamson resembles a real writer. The guy's characters spew out film and television references like they've been given some pop culture ipecac. Mrs. Tingle appears to have an I.Q. of about 190, but has taken to belittling anorexic overachievers like Leigh Ann Watson (Katie Holmes).

For her history project, Leigh Ann turns in a replica of a girl's diary from the Salem witch trials that she claims to have spent six months working on. Mrs. Tingle practically burns the thing after reading one page. Most teachers I have known would have had to excuse themselves from class to change panties after seeing a project of such caliber. Of course, while that happened, the rest of the class would be preparing Leigh Ann for a tar and feathering. If public school was good for something, curve-flattening was definitely it.

Mrs. Tingle's inexplicable nature gets Leigh Ann's friends, Luke (Barry Watson) and Jo Lynn (Marisa Coughlan) in such a tizzy that they go over to Mrs. Tingle's house to confront her about accusing Leigh Ann of cheating. In the process, they get in a scuffle and end up tying Mrs. Tingle to the bed and holding her hostage.

As you may know, the title of the film was changed from "Killing Mrs. Tingle" to "Teaching Mrs. Tingle." I also suspect that the script was given to a group of Columbine High School students led by John Gray or some other flaky positive thinker and rewritten to reflect the touchy-feely emotional angst of students contemplating killing their teacher. Incidentally, does anybody else think John Gray is an alien? "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," like most things politically correct, is as monotonous as watching dust gather.

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