The Prom sits right at the centre of where old-school musical meets modern-day storytelling. A stunning star cast plays down-on-their-luck Broadway stars – Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Reynolds, and James Corden – who lend themselves to a cause in Indiana. Emma wants to take her girlfriend to the prom but she has no ally except her school’s principal Mr Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key) who is pushing for an all-inclusive prom. Neither the PTA (represented by Mrs Greene played by Kerry Washington) nor the students seem to be in favor of this idea. An opportunist gang of has-been celebrities come in with an agenda but end up changing things for good, giving us the message of acceptance and inclusivity.
The Prom has its moments
The Prom is a story of a teenager who puts up a fight to just be herself and strives from acceptance from her peers and her community that she is a part of. This is especially important to her as her own parents have left her. All this is wrapped in shiny, glossy numbers and the film puts on a shimmering show of this all. There are a few moving moments related to coming out to the family and being true to yourself. While the glamor works in many parts, there is such a thing as too much schlitz and glitz.
Here’s what we thought of the musical numbers and the star cast
James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key and Jo Ellen Pellman have some awesome numbers while most others are rather forgettable. Meryl Streep is awesome, as usual, and as is the rest of the cast. Nicole Kidman is terribly underrated, just an observation. Kerry Washington is fabulous as an uptight PTA member albeit a doting mom. The younger cast members seem to ham through some scenes which dampen the experience a little bit.
The melodrama blunts the narrative and strays from the point
A few James Corden scenes had a lot of potential to display raw emotions but that seems like a squandered opportunity. While the film ends on a super note, it seems to lose way and steam somewhere in the second half. Having said that, the story is just beautiful and it’s worth watching solely for that.
WATCH OR NOT
The Prom is a story of a simple, small-town girl who just wants to attend the prom like any other student. She is determined and resilient and finds her voice with the help of her “middle-aged friends”. The film has delightful quirks and decently funny moments. It will make for a good watch with your next meal.
Director: Ryan Murphy
Writer: Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin
Cast: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Jo Ellen Pellman, Kerry Washington
Streaming on: Netflix