Prom (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
1Sep/110

Prom (2011)

I laughed during Prom and was at least consistently entertained enough during the down parts in order to give it a continued glance.  At the same time, I think that this film could inspire an untold number of insufferable copycats both in art and in the lives of people who adopt their patterns from art.  By that token, I don't think enough people will see or take Prom seriously enough to do one or the other.

I'm a bit dizzy after that.  You'll have to forgive me, I like it when my expectations are proven wrong and since I got a few good belly-laughs out of Prom I'm a bit dizzied at the idea of giving it a good review.  At the same time, it encourages behavior like stalking the girl that you like and behaving like a contrarian tyrant in order to attain success at life.  Huzzah for dichotomies, I suppose.

Based on the supposition that a review should be about bottom lines, I enjoyed watching Prom.  This, obviously, begs the concern if means justify the ends or if the means justify themselves?  A more obvious concern might be why I'm troubling myself about such concerns when it comes to Prom?

"No officer, I go to this High School."

Well, it's because I plan on having kids someday and Prom was made by Disney.  That means that no matter what I do or say, Prom is going to play on the Disney Channel, ABC Family, and any number of other Disney-affiliated syndicated stations once it goes past its post-Generation Y DVD/download boom.  So I have to ask the question if I really enjoy a supporting character climbing up a window to spy on his crush and say, verbatim from the film,  "Now I'm in this tree and you're so beautiful."

Yes, creepy stalker, the altitude of which you are viewing the object of your affections varies the appreciation of her attractiveness.

Since an obligatory "this is the audience its for" review is necessary I need to get this much out of the way.  Prom will more than please it's target audience and any poor soul unfortunate enough to tag along who is dreading the experience.  The plot is as rudimentary as possible (think a John Hughes screenplay on training wheels and you get the gist) but it's delivered with enough intelligence and surprises that it's not entirely worthless.

Yet it encourages stalker-esque behavior and classicism to a degree that it is as telegraphed as much as it is disgusting.  Our heroine (Aimee Teegarden) has been planning the senior prom for ages (or, in High School terminology, her Senior year) and faces a set-back in the face of an arson.  So she gets paired with the improbably handsome "not 20-plus-years" old outcast played by Thomas McDonell to restore the prom.  Just as she finds herself the caretaker of the dreams for her classmates, so do they approach prom with the reverence that only the most devout approach The Rapture.

This is how it was, a bunch of carboard with Lite-Brite's plugged in.

It's their approach that entertained me.  It was honest about the couple that everyone knew, the couple that everyone didn't, the people that thought themselves outcasts but weren't, the "populars", and the "outcasts".  Yes, there were many ham-fisted scenes where the heroine pushed her viewpoint down the throats of her friends, but also many that dealt with the aspect of letting go and evolution that High School prepares people for.

So I was entertained.  I like listening to the music geeks talk about The Clash, the outcasts putting down the principal, and the popular folks desperately keeping up the facade of happiness.  Prom has a lot of problems, but in the end, it's still honest - right down to the mediocre decorations dipping down from the ceiling on that "magical" night.  I also look forward to teaching my kids how, exactly, not to climb into trees to show someone you love them.

At least someone remember how stupid those the props and "magic" really looked.

Prom (2011)
Directed by Joe Nussbaum.
Screenplay by  Katie Wech.
Starring Aimee Teegarden and Thomas McDonell.

Posted by Andrew

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