Written and Directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins
I bought this movie on DVD and to be honest I can't put my finger on any one particular reason as to why. I'm not a Katie Holmes fan. I don't dislike her; I have no opinion one way or the other about her. She was okay in Batman Begins and slightly better in Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the two films that I saw her in before Miss Meadows. What that means is that I don't have very much to judge her performance in the film by. That's okay because I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that her role as Miss Meadows may very well be the best role of her career.
Miss Meadows, a substitute schoolteacher by trade, is a woman of proper manners and style. She wears dresses in the fashion of a little girl and taps on the bottoms of her shoes. She walks the streets of her neighborhood reading poetry and breaking into dance as the birds chirp, the squirrels eye her with curiosity and deer run along in the grass beside her. However, to quote an 80's hair metal band "every rose has its thorn" and Miss Meadows is no exception; upset the peacefulness of her neighborhood or bring harm to the children in her care and she will not hesitate to whip her cute little gun out of her cute little purse and blow your ass away. Just ask the guy that tries to force her into his truck at gunpoint or the guy that robbed the Top Dowg and killed everyone inside or the child-molesting priest what she is capable of. Oh, wait; you can't because they're dead and she killed them.
Miss Meadow’s perfect world as a gun-toting Miss Manners begins to slowly unravel when she meets and falls in love with the sheriff and it becomes abundantly clear to him that she is not the woman that she appears to be. Love is grand and so what's a poor boy to do; marry her or arrest her? It is also noteworthy that filmmaker Karen Leigh Hopkins has the good sense to peel back the curtain on Miss Meadows childhood so that we may see what events have shaped her life.
I previously stated that the role of Miss Meadows may be the best role of Katie Holmes career and I stand by that statement. Holmes brings a gleeful mischief to her part that I found to be a delight to watch. My question is was she thinking of ex-husband Tom Cruise when she was filling bad guys with bullets? It would have been a good motivation. Also let’s not forget James Badge Dale as sheriff. Since his role as Trooper Barrigan in The Departed he has proven time and again that he can play both sides of the law effectively.
Is there a message to Miss Meadows? Beats me; if there is perhaps it is that no one is what they seem or maybe even that there is a thin line that separates vigilantes from criminals. Then again maybe it's not about either of those things at all. Maybe it is merely about a proper woman (who I must admit being somewhat turned on by; there, I said it) who wants to make a difference in the world-one bullet at a time.