PROM – The Review
PROM is pretty self explanatory. The film follows a group of teenagers from the same high school around the end of the year. Some are a little more excited about the big dance than others, and some are too young to go, but they still have to be surrounded by a school filled with prom-fever!
Of course, there needs to be some sort of a base, so the story mainly revolves around Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), a goody two-shoes who has worked her tail off to get into Georgetown on a full scholarship. She is class president, a phenomenal student, and head of the prom committee. When a fire destroys all of the decorations that she and her committee worked so hard on, she is stuck rebuilding everything by herself… or so she thought. In a way to get back at a delinquent student, Principal Dunnan (Jere Burns) forces bad boy Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonell) to help. Now Nova is stuck working everyday after school with her complete opposite, and they forge a bond that neither of the two expected.
I am really trying to take PROM for what it is… a movie marketed towards teens, that happens to be released during prom season. Maybe I am grasping for straws here, but call it a clue that the entire theater was filled with teenage girls who could not stop talking and giggling for the entire duration of the movie! Ladies, that is slumber party behavior, not theater behavior! Guess I should have known going into a film like this.Now, I am not saying that I hated it, but I am not saying that I liked it either. I am pretty indifferent. Maybe I have been jaded by all of those years watching SAVED BY THE BELL to invite a new gang into my life… or maybe it’s just, despite having like-able characters, they could have spent way more time developing the story. Still, they were very smart on the marketing and the release date of this film. Despite a storyline that appeals primarily to tweens and teens, this film will do well in theaters.
Here is the one thing that I find odd about this film, and maybe it is just because I grew up in a small, Midwestern town… Where in the world do they make such a big deal out of asking someone to prom? Sure, most girls dream of being asked, but this usually is by phone, a creatively folded note, or I assume text message now (Wow, you kids have it easy!). I have never seen, or heard about someone being asked to a dance in such a grand way as the kids in this film, except for maybe on LAGUNA BEACH, the reality(less) show! Dudes and dudettes, feel lucky if you even get asked. I went with friends to every dance, and I finally got a date for prom my senior year a week before when my friend David said something to the extent of “This way we aren’t stuck entertaining a date all night and we have someone for pictures.” Seriously, can someone tell me where people ask their dates to prom in an engagement like fashion???
The characters were fun. Thomas McDonell is definitely the main attraction in this film. He plays the bad boy role very well. I know that everyone is going to bring this up, but he is a dead ringer, in both his mannerisms and looks, for a young Johnny Depp. It’s hard not to be sucked into his appeal. This kid is going to do big things on screen. Aimee Teegarden is ok in her role. It’s not that she played the part of Nova in any sort of a poor way, she actually pulled off who the character was suppose to be, it’s just that Nova was kind of annoying at times. I liked her ten times better in SCREAM 4. She is a beautiful girl, and I look forward to seeing what is next for her. I just think that they forced depth into her character, without actually developing it.
The film also showcases some bright young stars. Danielle Campbell plays Simone, a naive sophomore who falls for the popular, athletic superstar, who happens to have a girlfriend. There is something about her that makes me instantly like her. I don’t know exactly what it is, but rather than getting mad at her for being the other woman, I actually felt bad for her. I guess maybe because it’s a situation that we have all witnessed at one time or another… where the younger girl or boy gets swept away by the older, more popular kid. Heck, I remember my first big crush in high school! I also remember making a complete ass out of myself, and rendered speechless when he would ask to borrow a pencil! Ah, I remember my shy self! Anyway, you aren’t here to read about Melissa’s Tales of High School Nerd-dom!
Kylie Bubury plays Jordan, the girlfriend of Simone’s love interest. The thing that I really liked about this character is that once she caught her boyfriend Tyler Barso (DeVaughn Nixon) cheating, she was officially done with him. She didn’t cry, or stay, she left. Sure, they showed her character a bit upset, but she moved on and kept her head held high. This is a fantastic positive message for teens! Kudos!
The duo of music-eccentric best friends Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) and Corey (Cameron Monaghan) were a blast from the past. It is almost like they were meant to be in a John Hughes film. Cameron’s character of Corey reminded me of Ducky from PRETTY IN PINK, and Nolan’s character of Lucas really reminded me of Andrew McCarthy in pretty much any teen movie from the 80’s, minus the rich kid part.
The two actors/characters I really think should have gotten more screen time were are Nicholas Braun (Lloyd Taylor) and Joe Adler (Rolo). Nicholas’s character of Lloyd, I feel, was a better representation of the general teenage population. Getting a date to a dance, especially when you are not part of the cool crowd, can be nerve wracking and horrible. Kids are cruel. Still, his character was fun. I would have TOTALLY gone to the prom with Lloyd! Rolo easily had the best lines of the film. Whenever he was on screen he brought the laughs. They really should have spent more screen time on his Rolo’s candy obsessed character!
The only character/casting that I didn’t care for was DeVaughn Nixon as Tyler Barso, the cheating, athletic superstar. Not because his character was a creep, that was a nice twist in the story. (He was a creep though!) It’s that he looked too old in reference to the rest of the cast. They needed someone who looked the part, age-wise. He just wasn’t believable as a high school student.
This film is very far from reality, and plays on the cliché of the good girl falling for the bad boy. Don’t get me wrong, there is a reason that it has worked in so many films. I just really think if the story were developed more that this film could have been better. Still, for teens, I am sure they will enjoy it. Heck, the kids in the screening I went to did!