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Film / Miss Meadows

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Miss Meadows is a 2014 Black Comedy written and directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins and starring Katie Holmes. The titular character is a prim and proper but really quirky young school teacher. At the same time, though no one suspects, she's also a vigilante, making the world nicer through killing criminals. As the bodies pile up, the local county sheriff begins investigating. His path crosses with Miss Meadows, and the two fall for each other, with him being initially wholly unaware that she's the person he's seeking.

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  • Alliterative Name: Miss Meadows' first name is revealed as being Mary.
  • Asshole Victim: The men whom Miss Meadows kills were an attempted kidnapper (likely rapist or killer too), a mass murderer and two child molesters.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Miss Meadows (or rather Mrs.?) is shown as happily married to Mike, and they have a baby daughter.
  • Badass Adorable: Miss Meadows is quite pretty, quirkily sweet, and wears attractive if somewhat "vintage" clothing very well. She is also very handy with her concealed-carry-sized pistol.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Miss Meadows takes this trope Up to Eleven. In the past, her mother was killed in a drive-by shooting. Though she retains a sweet exterior, she's grown into a badass vigilante, killing violent criminals whenever they cross her path. Almost no one suspects because of her demeanor.
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  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Miss Meadows is very eccentric (actually, emotionally disturbed to the point of some delusions), dressing and acting in the manner of a "nice girl" from The '50s. She also wears tap shoes constantly and needs little to no provocation to start dancing. However, she's a competent, beloved teacher and quite good with a gun.
  • Catchphrase: Miss Meadows' says "Toodle-oo" for goodbye, whether the farewell is temporary or permanent.
  • Character Title: It's named after the main character.
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: Implied by Mike's actions throughout the film and especially the ending, as Miss Meadows is able to eliminate criminals whom there's no evidence against.
  • Damsel in Distress: Miss Meadows is kidnapped and held captive near the end. Though she does fight back, her fiancee Mike has to rescue her.
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  • Damsel out of Distress: In the very first scene, Miss Meadows kills a man who'd tried to kidnap her at gunpoint. He just never thought that such a prim and proper young lady would have a gun in her purse — and be more than ready to use it too.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's revealed that Miss Meadows became a vigilante because her mother was killed in a drive-by shooting as they were attending a friend's wedding.
  • Dead All Along: Miss Meadows' mother is really dead-she's been speaking to a hallucination.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Mike rescues Miss Meadows and her young pupil (and flower girl) Heather from an actual kidnapping by Skylar; realizing that Skylar's prints are on Miss Meadows' gun, Mike also lets him take the fall for all the men whom Miss Meadows killed as a vigilante.
  • Friend to All Children: Miss Meadows is a grade school substitute teacher who shows great affection for children generally, not just her students, and is very protective with them.
  • Gangland Drive-By: It is eventually revealed that the source of Miss Meadows trauma was a wedding in which she was a flower girl where the entire bridal party, except her, was wiped out by a drive-by shooting, including her mother. Why they were targeted isn't revealed (assuming this wasn't accidental).
  • Genki Girl: Miss Meadows is an adult, downplayed version. She's energetic, friendly, and wears tap shoes at all times, skipping when she walks. Only a couple times is she anything less than confident and upbeat.
  • Girls with Guns: While Miss Meadows is almost comedically feminine, she's a confident, strong young woman most of the time. She also carries a gun in her purse at all times, which she uses unhesitatingly against the criminals that cross her path.
  • Girly Bruiser: Miss M is always dressed in a vintage dress and gloves. She carries a purse and maintains impeccable old-fashioned proper manners. Nonetheless, she's also a vigilante, carrying a gun in her purse that she's quite good at using on criminals.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Miss M is a very girlish woman, wearing a vintage dress and has quite proper, quaint manners. Yet she's also a gun-wielding vigilante who wages a one-woman war against crime, a traditionally masculine activity (with female vigilantes usually more straight tomboys when depicted).
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Miss Meadows seems to be contemplating abortion after learning she's pregnant, since she asks her doctor if it's wrong bringing into a child into such a bad world. The doctor however says so long as she gives her child love, it will be fine, and Miss Meadows chooses to keep her baby. It helps that she adores children in general already.
  • Hallucinations: It's revealed that Miss Meadows' conversations with her mother only happened in her mind. Her mother's been dead for years. Near the end, she manages to banish them.
  • Happily Married: Mike and Miss Meadows (or Mrs.?) are shown as a very happy couple in the epilogue with their baby daughter.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the very end of the film, Miss Meadows is tap dancing down the sidewalk, on her way to another vigilante shooting.
  • Just in Time: Mike arrives right on cue to save Miss Meadows and Heather from Skylar, an angry child molester who kidnapped them, as he's about to shoot Miss M.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Miss M is never seen in anything except a frilly, old-fashioned dress but it doesn't stop her from being a deadly vigilante, blowing away any criminals she comes across.
  • Last-Name Basis: No one calls Miss Meadows by her first name, Mary, but her mother. She in turn never once calls Mike anything but "Sheriff" even after they get into a relationship.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Miss Meadows gets pregnant, apparently with no intention of so doing, due to a single time having sex with Mike. She decides to have the baby.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Mike discovers that Miss Meadows is the vigilante. He lets her go free, letting a criminal take the blame. Of course, they were about to be married, so he's already greatly sympathetic. Aside from which, the utterly foul and depraved nature of her "victims" already makes Mike willing to let her off the hook (the first legitimately was Killing in Self-Defense anyway, though he doesn't know that for certain).
  • Little Useless Gun: Totally inverted; the .25 caliber semi-auto Miss Meadows carries is utterly lethal in her hands.
  • Next Thing They Knew: A scene abruptly shifts from Mike speaking to Miss Meadows, then the pair of them having sex in bed.
  • Nice Girl: Miss Meadows is a charming, friendly woman who's unfailingly polite (and formal) to everyone else (aside from violent criminals, whom she kills).
  • Parental Abandonment: There's no mention of Miss Meadows' father. Her mother, meanwhile, is dead.
  • Pedophile Priest: One of Miss Meadows' victims is the town's Catholic priest, who sexually abuses one boy on-camera and, according to investigators after his death, has previously accumulated dozens of victims.
  • Proper Lady: Miss Meadows comes across as one. She's kind, self-assured, caring for others, intelligent and always quite genteel. Subverted in that she's troubled (to the point of limited delusions) from a very traumatic past, she sleeps with Mike after a very short time in their relationship, and, of course, the whole "deadly vigilante" thing.
  • Protagonist Title: It's named after her.
  • Secret Keeper: The first person to deduce Miss M's double life is Heather, one of her elementary-school pupils. Said person is totally okay with it, and never does divulge the secret.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's gradually revealed that Miss Meadows actually has deep-seated trauma due to seeing her mother murdered as a child, with vivid hallucinations showing her still alive. She deals with it by killing criminals as a vigilante, plus her eccentricities. Most of the time, she acts very cheerful and always upbeat, but in private we see her very depressed. She also wonders, after becoming pregnant, whether it would be right to have a child in this world.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Miss Meadows' first would-be kidnapper doesn't suspect at all that she'd have a gun in her purse, never mind have no problem — in skill level or emotionally — with using said pistol to shoot him dead. This also applies to the other criminals, who never suspect that she (or likely a woman at all) could be a threat. It works to her advantage as they let her come close without shooting her first.
  • Suburban Gothic: An apparently "nice neighborhood" is the haunt of kidnappers, killers and child molestors, and the only person who can help is the eponymous (and almost equally disturbed) heroine.
  • Suicide Dare: Miss Meadows walks into a diner to get her class some snacks... approximately thirty seconds after a deranged robber has massacred everyone in the place. When the perp whimpers, "I want to die," Miss M. promptly agrees he should - and then delivers this soliloquy:
    Miss Meadows: You're of no use to society. You'll waste innocent taxpayers' dollars, abuse the weak legal system and enter a cowardly plea of insanity to a morally bankrupt defense attorney. For what? Oh, and once incarcerated, you're gonna cost taxpayers approximately $47,000 per year. So you know what? Make sure you point the barrel of the gun to the back of the throat.
  • Vigilante Man: Miss Meadows kills violent criminals she comes across. It's implied that she'd done this before in the city where she used to live, as it's mentioned that vigilante killings occurred there too.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Skylar and the priest are both child molesters, who naturally count automatically.
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