by Sarah McCarthy, Editorial Intern (who appears in photo below with a promo cutout from the film screening)
After watching Disney’s ‘PROM’ as a teenager myself attending a real prom in two weeks… I reconsidered going there, for fear of running into any one of the movie’s main characters. With my fist.
“High School. It happens to everyone.”
Thus begins the seemingly-3-hour-run of pure sanitation, filled to the squeaky-clean brim with hugs, conservative attire, and undeserved John Hughes references. Mind you, had the movie been tastefully and honestly done; the references may have been clever. But John Hughes wasn’t afraid to drop the “f-bomb”, nor did he shy away from the reality of modern teenage life. It isn’t Disney’s fault, though. They’re just protecting the parents (and trying to put a band-aid over the gash left from MTV’s ‘Skins’), so I suppose that’s charitable to some degree.
Nova (played by Aimee Teegarden), the “protagonist” trying to make PROM (all caps- why?) super-duper special is forced to work with Johnny Depp look-alike, er, Jesse (Thomas McDonnell), who is Disney’s idea of a ‘bad boy’. She huffs and puffs and rolls her eyes and talks to her daddy about how much of a “loser” he is because he “rides a motorcycle” and “doesn’t conform”. Turns out he has an unstable home life, but not quite as unstable as Bender’s in Breakfast Club. Then there’s Lloyd, who looks a lot like a young John Cusack (who played Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything in the 80s) for some reason. He can’t find a date. Then there’s the couple who break up, then there’s the sad whiny underclassmen, and the couple that has to split up to go to different colleges… but no one gets too mad or too sad, because that might make them say a bad word. Disney drags the viewer through endless poorly written sob stories again, and again, and again… until you have never been so happy to hear crappy-poppy-high-school-dance music (at the end) in your life.
The movie is rated PG. High school is rated R. For some reason, that doesn’t balance out. I do not recommend seeing this movie, nor do I recommend allowing your kids to see this movie (unless they are planning to attend Disney Prep in the fall) unless, of course, you enjoy a predictable plot, factory-brand writing, and High School Musical. Even the stereotypes are portrayed incorrectly- they’re too much of a caricature to be believable, much less relatable. I pity the middle school girls who were sitting rows behind me, squealing and giggling at every peck on the cheek. Sorry Disney, but ‘PROM’ isn’t going to make real life high school any less grimy, slimy, trashy, and sleazy.
The PG rating is for ‘mild language and a brief fight.’