Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Dir: Kevin Williamson
Star: Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Barry Watson, Marisa Coughlan

Nothing shows up a bad film better than good acting. And here we have an all-round champion of inadequacy (lame characters, limp plot, immensely irritating and intrusive soundtrack of crap-pop), which is almost redeemed by Mirren, who turns in an early contender for TC Oscar contention as twisted and bitter teacher Mrs. Tingle. An incident involving an exam paper leads to three of her pupils (Drop-out, Swot + Wannabe: tick off those clear-complexioned cliches) taking her hostage in her own home. Yet Tingle continues to hold the upper hand... Changed, post-Columbine, from Killing Mrs. Tingle, that tweak accurately sums up just what a pussy this film is: it wants to be rebellious, but bellies-up with barely a whimper. Mirren, however, is deliciously evil, leaving the rest of the cast sprawling in the dirt, although this makes the final denouement even more pathetic. It's clear that the Royal Shakespeare Company is a better dramatic training ground than the likes of Dawson's Creek.


Lesson learned
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