When Dangerous Minds was released in 1995, we were all too young to realize it was not breaking any new ground. So while it was just the latest entry in a long line of films that utilized the "save our students" story template, it still felt super duper important when we watched as kids. Now that we're all grown up, it's pretty easy to recognize that this is no Lean on Me or Stand & Deliver. At its best, Dangerous Minds is a tone-deaf oversimplification of what the real LouAnne Johnson actually experienced. At its worst, it's an insensitive misfire that betrays its source material and basically turns the whole situation into a cartoon.
Topics include: Coolio's hit single "Gangsta's Paradise" and the part it played in keeping Dangerous Minds in the zeitgeist for the past two decades, the fact that Jerry Bruckheimer seems to think he's making To Sir, With Love but probably would have been more at home with something like The Substitute, the actual methods Johnson used to make the curriculum more relevant for her students (spoilers - it wasn't with Bob Dylan lyrics), deleted scenes, awkward endings, why the truth was so much more compelling than this fiction, and much much more!