BY DANITA STEINBERG
With films like To Sir, With Love, Dead Poet’s Society, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and Music of the Heart (not to mention the dozens of others in the genre), teachers are sentimental subjects. And understandably so. I loved a lot of my teachers growing up – in fact, I loved most of them. But let’s be real. I wouldn’t stand up on a desk to recite “O Captain! My captain!” for all of them. Everyone’s had a few lousy teachers. Teaching Mrs. Tingle is about exactly that, and what we all wish we could’ve done to those mean, kid-hating ones. Okay, that’s probably a little extreme – I never wished to keep any of them hostage in their own homes. Admittedly though, watching good girl Katie Holmes do it to Mrs. Tingle was very cathartic throughout my years in school.
Why it’s terrible:
- This film is so 1990s – from the hair, to the outfits, to the dialogue. Contrary to popular belief on the internet, not all of us want to relive this decade.
- The cheesy mother/daughter subplot between Katie Holmes and her movie mom. Just get to the good stuff, like murdering a teacher so you can become valedictorian.
- Katie Holmes’ co-stars, Barry Watson and Marisa Coughlan, are both unknowns – then, and now.
- Marisa Coughlan’s character is so one-dimensional and pathetic, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Actually all of the female characters are one-dimensional and pathetic.
- The entire thing is beyond outrageous and implausible. Like this would never happen. None of it.
Why it’s awesome:
- This film is so 1990s (the 1990s can always be used for both terrible and awesome sides of the coin). Teaching Mrs. Tingle is a film that fits well with other awesome teen flicks released in 1999, like Cruel intentions, 10 Things I Hate About You, Election and Jawbreaker.
- Queen of teen flicks, Molly Ringwald, makes a cameo!
- Jeffrey Tambor. Hilarious.
- While famous in England for years, Helen Mirren didn’t really make it to North America until this film. At the very least, she was not the Helen Mirren we all know and love today, as far as recognition goes. But man, she gives one great performance. I love to hate her in this movie. Her charisma basically jumps out of the screen and slaps you in the face. Mrs. Tingle is one of my all-time favourite villains!
- Whenever it is on television, I just HAVE to watch it. It’s a great rainy day movie.
- Kevin Williamson wrote and directed it. He also wrote Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Faculty. More awesome teen-ness!
- A teen angst-y soundtrack.
- Mrs. Tingle’s one-liners. And Mirren’s icy delivery.
Danita loves musicals, Bette Midler, sandwiches, Real Housewives, great horror films, and The Golden Girls. She’s a barista, bookworm, cinephile, and celebrity stalker. If she’s at home, she’s in her pajamas. Follow her on Twitter @danita_35.