We all have that one teacher that we just can’t stand, right? You’ll be in school, enjoying the day with friends and classmates, and then you’ll remember you have the devil teacher next….all you want to do is run away and hide…maybe even skip school. Personally, I’ve found that if you can connect with them on just one topic, you’ll basically be their best friend for life. Seriously, I’ve had at least a couple teachers in college that everyone despised (even me at first), until one topic came around and we just end up chatting it up! Well, that’s not the case for the folks in Teaching Mrs. Tingle. Not at all. Things get…a little out of hand.
Teaching Mrs. Tingle revolves around a few students that are soon to graduate, and all they really need is a good grade in class to gain some sponsorships to get into the college of their dreams. For one student (Katie Holmes), she has a detrimental need to get into college, so when she gets in trouble by the wicked Mrs. Tingle, she and a group of friends decide to change her mind…by going to her house and tying her up. That ought to do it…
This was initially going to be one of the films reviewed for Wife’s Choice Week on my podcast, but we never really got around to doing it in time. However, we still saw it, so here we go.
This is a strange but silly film. The main issue really comes down to how believable it is. If I could pick out the first thing that comes to mind, it would all revolve around the likelihood and probability of something like this happening. Sure, it’s partly a comedy, but even comedies make a lick of sense. First of all, you want to go to college, fine…but would you rather go to a college that isn’t your first choice…or go to prison for kidnapping and false imprisonment? Next, her friends that are helping her out…why? I understand teamwork and helping each other out…but at what cost? Aiding and abetting a criminal – also, they were fine before that. Not anymore! Next…you’d really go to her house…that’s a pretty inappropriate thing to do. I get hating teachers and wanting a specific future for yourself, but this film is drowning in unrealistic things.
I come from a home where college almost isn’t a possibility…it was community college or nothing at all…that’s just how it was, so I guess I can’t connect with jocks that need scholarships or smartypants that need scholarships. On a basic level, I just couldn’t connect with their line of thinking and what they considered important to the degree of criminal action. But again, it’s a comedy! Stop taking it so seriously! Okay, okay. Fine!
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
Let’s get down and dirty…and fair. The acting wasn’t half bad, the characters were diverse and memorable, I really enjoyed who they cast, because they fit their roles perfectly and they also really worked well together. The only thing that was lacking was maybe their chemistry with one another. That wasn’t as big of a focus, and there was some awkwardness in some of the kissing/romantic scenes.
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1
As I said before, the main elements of the writing that could’ve used some help was the story, but also by being more interesting in general, everything else in this category is perfectly fine. The story really didn’t have a lot to it, it’s a particularly selfish themed film with stupid actions and consequences of those actions…as far as the story goes, It could’ve been a lot smarter in deciding what message they wanted to spread. Also, I didn’t think it was all that interesting…the characters were good, they were…but the lack in the story realism took away anything as far as how interesting it is.
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 1|Music – 1
When it came to things going on behind-the-scenes, the movie definitely could’ve used some help. It’s not a very visually impressive film…it’s mostly just average there. Nothing stood out with directing or editing, it was all mostly typical there as well. The advertising, or at least what I was told about it before seeing it…wasn’t really what I expected, and the music is fine…but again, absolutely nothing in this category stood out. It was as bleak as humanly possible.
NARRATIVE ARC (8/10)
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 0
Mostly typical story arc here, we are introduced the the classmates and teacher and why the rest of the film happens in the beginning (Intro), the kids tie up the teacher and say do this or else (Incident), The kids must keep everything a secret to a growingly suspicious school (Obstacles), and without spoiling anything, there is a climax that is satisfying. The only thing it doesn’t have is falling action or returning to the new norm.
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impusle/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1
I’d say the comedy kept this film afloat as far as how entertaining it was in general. It may not have had the best story in the world, but we had some decent characters and some decent comedy. So, I would actually say this is a pretty rewatchable film, because it is indeed fun. It’s fun and it sorta sucks the audience in here and there…what it doesn’t do is give you an urge to talk about it or even buy it. So, from this standpoint, it’s a fun film that you can watch now and then…but there’s no need to purchase it.
SPECIALTY QUESTIONS (35/50)
Comedy – 5|Thriller – 5|Age Well – 10|Sounds Legit – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
When considering Teaching Mrs. Tingle, a few things come to mind before seeing it – it is considered a comedy and thriller, but it was released 18 years ago…so how does it age? Does the events in the film seem legit, and is it at least halfway decent? The comedy is okay some of the time, and not the greatest at other times. I don’t really consider it a thriller, but I guess there are those that would. I think as far as it’s aging, I think it ages well just fine, but there’s not a lot about this movie that feels legit. However, I gave that half points because it is a comedy, so that shouldn’t really matter. Finally, do I consider this halfway decent? Yeah, it’s totally fine.
TOTAL SCORE: 70/100