The Prom Review (Netflix): One thing’s universal when it comes to Netflix’s star-studded production of The Prom: this movie is a lot of fun. And for the right reasons, mostly!
The Prom tells the story of Emma (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman), an Indiana high schooler who is not approved to attend the dance with her girlfriend Alyssa (Hamilton’s Ariana DeBose), based on the short-lived Broadway musical. Oh, at least that’s part of the case. The film is primarily about a quartet of washed-up stars, Dee Dee (Meryl Streep), Barry (James Corden), Trent (Andrew Rannells) and Angie (Nicole Kidman), who, in a last-ditch effort at relevance, plan to advocate for Emma.
What follows is a musical ideological clash, with school principal Tom (Keegan-Michael Key) joining the celebrities in their war against Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington), the sinister PTA chief, who also happens to be the mother of Alyssa. The story is dense!
Two hours and 17 minutes later it turned out to be OK. After all it’s a musical, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a few concerns left.
The Prom review made us notice the following 10 follow-up thoughts.
1. Corden’s Performance as a Gay:
The greatest criticism from reviewers around the board is the “offensive” performance of Corden as a gay man. Frankly, we are shocked that Murphy, who recently gave us a Broadway production and film featuring an all-gay cast of The Boys in the Band, will place a straight man in Barry’s role, given how much more weight a gay actor would have brought to the show. (Question bonus: What gay actor would you like to see as Barry?)
2. Similarities with ‘Glee’
We swear we’re not just asking this because Ryan Murphy directed it. The bright colours, the podunk town that’s definitely getting money from somewhere, the whole backstory of Trent… it all felt highly Glee-full. And not in a horrific manner.
3. Kerry Washington’s Surprisingly Amazing Voice
If you happened to witness the “Joy to the World” appearance of the former Controversy star during ABC’s Disney Holiday Singalong, so Washington’s powerful pipes certainly didn’t surprise you. So this one is for all the others: “What the what?!” Seriously, just for her, they should have composed a new album, running time be damned.
4. The first prom was a Fake?
Seriously, what did it send you away for? Is that as they cut into actual dance and it didn’t seem like a gymnasium in high school? Or was it because Emma’s truck was apparently the only one in the car park? Either way, it took these characters much too long to bring the pieces together. It is beyond us if all of them even manage to get out of bed in the morning without crippling themselves.
5. Emma Nolan’s Participation
We’re all going to say that the plot relies so heavily on the Broadway performers and not enough on the friendship between Emma and Alyssa. It seems like they are given the same amount of screen time as their bullies, even after several viewings. Really, let’s chat for a second about those jerks.
6. Weird Homophobic Teens!
In the end, we know they change their ways, but we have been treated to so many musical numbers featuring the happy-go-lucky bullies of Emma, from the prompts to the dance itself and beyond, that I have to ask: were we meant to worry for them? And on a related record.
7. Well Choreographed Musicals in a Town Full of Homophobes
It seems a little unusual to see such well choreographed musicals and awesome performances in a town full of homophobes. We’re just saying. Never mind!
8. Emma wanted to take a girl to Prom
Ever since we went to high school [mumble] years ago, maybe things have changed, but we weren’t asked who we were bringing as our date when we purchased our prom tickets. And if they were telling Emma, what was she saying? Her girlfriend’s secret?
9. The the PTA really have this much authority?
Parents, if I’m mistaken, please correct me, but does the head of the PTA normally walk around like they’re the town’s mayor? Washington practically owns every space in her defense that she’s standing in, but I’m talking about real life. Only for once.
10. The Story: What really happened?
The Prom is loosely based on the tale of Constance McMillen, a student from Mississippi who struggled with her girlfriend to go to the prom in 2010. Several musicians, including Lance Bass and Green Day, pitched in to throw an inclusive prom for all in reaction to her bravery. Wouldn’t it be crazy (and heartbreaking) to remember it was just 10 years ago?
All right, your turn to speak: What did you think of The Prom? And which burning questions will you bring to our list (rhetorical or otherwise)? And, don’t forget to give rating to this movie and drop a comment.