Miss MeadowsTriBeCa Film Festival 2014
Title: Miss Meadows (2014)
Director: Karen Leigh Hopkins
Runtime: 88 minutes

There were three non-horror films I wanted to see at the 2014 TriBeCa Film Festival. Miss Meadows was one of those three, and it was based solely on my love for Katie Holmes. I’ve adored her since Dawson’s Creek, and even had an awkward run-in with her in New York City where I may have asked her to marry me and have my babies. Hey, we all do weird things when we meet our childhood crush, right?

Miss Meadows is a mild-mannered substitute teacher in what I can only assume is a small Midwestern town. She has perfect manners, and hates wasted words. She also has a passion for tap dancing. So the film opens with Miss Meadows reading a book of poems while walking down the street and tap dancing along when a crude gardener pulls up in his truck and wants to have sex. She’s so completely offended by his threats of violence and rape that she whips a gun out, shoots him dead, and then continues tap dancing her way down the street. This “black comedy” shows a lot of promise at the start, but eventually succumbs to a poorly written script.

Writer and director Karen Leigh Hopkins came out before her film started and explained that she had been carrying this script around for 15 years. It was her pride and joy, and that allowing us to see the world premier at TriBeCa was a dream come true. Well, let’s be honest here folks: if you’re peddling a script for 15 years, there’s probably a good reason it’s not being bought. The first problem I had with the script is that Miss Meadows’ character is all prim and proper, but then she just goes out and has sex. It is a hysterical scene, played in such a way that I can only imagine was how Katie felt while sleeping with Tom Cruise, but our lead loses everything she stands for. That said, this scene is needed to advance the story to its conclusion. I won’t ruin it, but if you’ve seen one film like this then you can probably guess where it’s going. There is a decent twist near the end of it that I did enjoy, though.

Katie Holmes plays this crazy role to perfection. She might not be the best actress out there, but she’s clearly having fun going around tap dancing and killing people. The rest of the cast does a fine enough job, which is surprising since there are a good number of child actors.

I’d recommend renting Miss Meadows if that becomes a viable option. It’s not great, but it has a fun plot that gets thrown out the window around the midway point, much like the opening of Nurse 3D, which shares a few traits with this film (just no nudity and less gore here). With some fine-tuning of the script, this film could have been so much better, but as it is, it’s just average.

two_and_a_half_stars

Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions

Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.