I missed my prom – wish I had missed this one too.
Swift shot: Look, I love Disney, but sometimes even they miss the mark, apart from a few brilliant one-liners and brief moments of comedy, I think anyone over 12 would skip this “Prom”. I wanted to like this more, but the production was rushed together and the acting was just not great all-around, which is something I wouldn’t expect from Disney to be quite frank, or maybe the dialog was just lame. The actors who were supposed to be seniors looked like they were like me, a few years shy of wearing Depends. Sure, some of the characters were interesting and made me want to see how things were going to play out, but the plot was pasteurized cookie cutter predictable pandering to the pre-pubescent people in training (or PITS as my old high school teacher used to say about anyone under 18).
“Prom” is all about class president, and all around super-star, Nova (Aimee Teegarden) trying to create the perfect moment in time for her friends and herself. She has enlisted the help of several volunteers, nothing out of the ordinary there, as she has her heart set on one of them asking her to the prom, he finally does – but it is the most passionless proposal witnessed on screen. She does accept, but as things seem settled and everything is being prepared for the big night, one classless idiot ruins the preparations in a flash. Now, all her volunteers are over-booked and the principal steps in to help, as he assigns “bad-boy”, rebel-without-a-cause, Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonnell) to help Nova set things back into motion. They only have three weeks, and if you can’t see where this is headed by now, wow, you really don’t get out much.
The peripheral story-lines center around love, loyalty, friendship and just generally surviving high-school – but, again, this is high-school according to Disney, sans the angst and torment most of us fondly remember – at least those of us whom were paying attention. Some moments that I enjoyed, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some new faces that impressed me a bit: Cameron Monaghan – worked well with very little screen-time; Danielle Campbell and Nolan Sotillo – felt all of their scenes, and the audience really “responded” to the characters; and Joe Adler – almost no dialog, and the kid easily provided the best subtle comedy throughout.
As you might expect, in this prom, nothing overly dramatic really plays out; all the drama is soft and thoughtful – safe. There were no moments where I was surprised, which made for a completely dull viewing. I hate bashing films, I really do, because even the biggest stack of crap can be used as fertilizer for some other project, a stepping stone for a career, a great character, interesting sub-text, something! To that end, “Prom” wasn’t void of anything substantive, it just really wasn’t meant for me, and it didn’t have any real great moments – except the predictable ending, which I must admit was handled quite well.