“Prom” is exactly what you’d
expect it to be: no more and no less.
It’s about some high schoolers
preparing for their prom night. That’s
it. The bad news is that the casting is
off: the actors look to be in their
mid-20’s, trying to play younger, but their own faces betray them.
It’s difficult to suspend disbelief with that much age discrepancy.
The good news is that the story is decent, and descends neither into
gross-out humor nor overblown caricature. The
adolescent characters feel real, and so do their teenage woes.
Nova (Aimee Teagarden) is the Student
Council President in charge of the prom decorations.
She has the theme picked out, she’s recruited helpers, she’s Miss
Responsibility. But Fate conspires
against her: the storage shed
containing the decorations burns to the ground.
Now she has to start over, and the student assigned to help her is the
“trouble” guy, with the long hair and the motorcycle and the attitude.
But Jesse (Thomas McDonell) is not exactly the rebel without a cause
that everyone makes him out to be.
Meanwhile, the star of the lacrosse
team, Tyler (De Vaughan Nixon, who’s way too old for this role), tries to
placate his long-time girlfriend while simultaneously trying to woo a
sophomore, Simone (Danielle Campbell, who actually does look the part, which
makes the age discrepancy issue even worse). This
romance freezes out Lucas (Nolan Sotillo), a nerdy sophomore who can’t
compete with the star athlete or the senior prom, but his obsession with
Simone still manages to alienate his best friend.
There’s the goofy-looking dork who’s
waited too long to try to find a date, and the more girls he asks, the more
desperate he appears, and the less likely he is to find anyone willing to go
with him. Then there’s the long-time
couple (since eighth grade) who suddenly discover that they’re headed off to
different colleges, and they wonder how that enforced absence is going to
affect their well-established relationship. There’s
the steady girlfriend jilted on the eve of the prom, the airhead guy who keeps
claiming he’s dating a
’s Secret model, and then he actually shows up at the dance with her.
There are wardrobe malfunctions and indignant Dads and intervening Moms
and some weepy segments about how just for one last night, everyone is
together and enjoying each other’s company.
At least they don’t try to blow us
away with extraordinary musical talent, as in the “Glee” series.
Nor are they obsessed with football players, as they were in “Friday
Night Lights.” The teachers and
administrators are mostly believable, and remain quietly in the background.
This one is about the kids.
No Academy award performances.
No knock-your-socks off joie de vivre, like “Ferris Bueller’s Day
Off,” or huge production of live theater, as in the wildly popular “High
School Musical” series, or even the politically correct “Hairspray.”
No blatant rite of passage sexuality, like “The Last Picture Show.”
Just ordinary seniors going to their prom.
That’s it. Nothing more and
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor, United