Movie Review - Prom (**)
PROM. 103 mins. PG. Directed by Joe Nussbaum. Written by Katie Wech.
I recognize that I'm no longer the target audience for Disney's Prom, so it makes sense why I wouldn't necessarily take to it, but I can't imagine any real high schoolers about to head to their own prom liking it either. Earnest and well-intentioned to a fault, this is a clean-cut, scrubbed-clean look at the momentous high school dance that only a fourth grader could love. I doubt that's the target audience the filmmakers had in mind. This makes High School Musical look like The Basketball Diaries. No wonder the movie flopped last weekend, barely grossing $5 million.
To add insult to injury, the actual prom itself only factors into the last five minutes of the movie. It's all build-up and no payoff. The acting is terrible - only Friday Night Lights' Aimee Teegarden and Johnny Depp look-alike Thomas McDonnell are able to elevate the white bread script and create characters that are somewhat (I stress that, somewhat) interesting. It's a shame this one isn't better. I believe that there is a great prom movie still waiting to be made - maybe set over the course of just one night, with two hours shot in real time. The likelihood of that happening now? Nil.
If anything, Prom succeeds in making proms look stupid, and the students who invest so much thought and effort into attending them look foolish. If you have fond memories of your prom, hold onto those and skip this. If you hated prom, well, why the hell would you want to go see a silly, inconsequential movie about it?