As I mentioned in my review for last year’s Miss Meadows, a vigilante justice head-scratcher starring Katie Holmes, the movie works a lot better as a surreally campy oddity than a straightforward moral tale about crime & the failings of the justice system. I said, “There is a moral grey area in Miss Meadows’ worldview. According to Miss Meadows herself, ‘There are bad people in the world and they shouldn’t be around the good people.’ She means that people are either wholly ‘good’ or wholly ‘bad’ with little to no further nuance in their worth as human beings. […] Judging Miss Meadows on its merits as a moral tale is a tricky proposition, one that doesn’t flatter its likeability. However, as a detached-from-reality vigilante story with a campy mean streak (and an admittedly low body count, in case that’s what you’re looking for), it’s quite pleasant.”
There’s enough bizarre tonal juxtapositions in both its images & narrative that Miss Meadows has the potential to gradually cultivate a cult following despite (or maybe even because of) its muddled moralizing. Who wouldn’t love a stark clash of aesthetics that could be described under the range of Pulp Fiction Mary Poppins, Cinderella Death Wish, Serial Mom: The Early Years, or Batman in Pretty Dresses? It’s best to approach Miss Meadows as goofy pulp in this way, as it will most certainly be a more satisfying experience than if you took its musings on vigilante justice & mental illness at face value.
To encourage this playful approach to enjoying Miss Meadows, I’d like to suggest a drinking game. It’s a real simple one that should be easy to get a grip on, much unlike the central moral to the film itself. Here’s your drinking prompt if you want to play along from home:
1) Drink every time someone says “Toodaloo”
This prompt is a perfect distillation of the film in a few ways. Not only does it reflect the central character’s antiquated, genteel personality (when she’s not murdering people she deems not worthy to live), but it also is effective for the purposes of a drinking game, as the word is repeated often within the film. “Toodaloo” is Miss Meadows’ calling card (one she learned from her controlling, not-all-there mother), a catchphrase that amplifies her comic book character personality to an absurd extent. Approach the film with armed with this drinking prompt and campy expectations and you might just enjoy yourself.
As always, play safe. Toodaloo!