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Should You Plan to Attend This Prom?

  • Susan Ellingburg Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2011 4 Apr
  • COMMENTS
Should You Plan to Attend This <i>Prom</i>?

DVD Release Date:  August 30, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: April 29, 2011
Rating: PG (for mild language and a brief fight)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Run Time: 103 min.
Director:  Joe Nussbaum                  
Actors: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, Danielle Campbell, Yin Chang, Kylie Bunbury, Nicholas Braun, Jared Kusnitz, Jonathan Keltz and DeVaughn Nixon

“Has he asked you yet?” Oh, the joy and trauma of that high school rite of passage: prom. It’s as close to Cinderella’s ball as most of us will ever get. And, if senior class president (and prom committee chair) Nova (Aimee Teegarden, Scream 4) has her way, it will be the most magical night of her and her classmates’ lives.

Of course it’s not that easy. This modern teen fairy tale follows Nova’s triumphs and tragedies as her dreams of the perfect date get a cold shower even as her dreams of the perfect prom go up in flames. When all her hard work comes to naught and her exhausted committee bails, Nova is assigned the school bad boy as her lone helper to pull off prom perfection.

Jesse (Thomas McDonell, The Forbidden Kingdom) is a rebel with a cause and—judging from the reaction of the girls in the audience—has the same smoldering sex appeal a young James Dean exuded in an earlier era. (He even has the leather jacket and motorcycle—and rocks both.) Of course, beneath all that tough guy attitude he’s really a nice boy at heart. When he cuts class it’s not to cause trouble, but to pick up his little brother from school. Naturally, Nova (and all the girls in the theater) fall for him.

There’s more to this story than a good girl/bad boy romance. Apparently it’s not enough these days just to ask someone to prom; it’s an invitation that requires serious creativity. There are numerous examples of clever ways to pop the question and multiple “oh no” moments when one hapless senior’s attempts to find someone—anyone—to be his date inevitably go awry.

Prom also follows sophomore buddies Lucas and Corey (Nolan Sotillo and Cameron Monaghan), whose friendship is sorely tested when the lovely Simone (Danielle Campbell) enters the picture. It’s a valuable lesson in why it’s not such a good idea to completely ditch your friends for a pretty face—and how much support a really good friend can be.

Other stories revolve around a two-timing athlete (DeVaughn Nixon) and a long-time couple whose plans for the future are in jeopardy when one of them is accepted into their dream college. In fact, most standard “types” of teen are represented in some way, with the notable exceptions are that all the couples are boy/girl,  there don’t seem to be any major substance abusers or teen moms, and there’s a conspicuous lack of bullies. But then, it is a Disney movie.

The young cast does a nice enough job, though some of the girls were so busy trying to do the pretty pouty thing they forgot to allow any expression to cross their faces. Nicholas Braun was a standout as that guy nobody seems to remember.

Prom is not particularly original, but it’s relatively wholesome, sweet, and basically goodhearted. It’s funny without being mean-spirited or coarse, which is a welcome contrast to many recent offerings. The ending is never in doubt, but it’s still satisfying. After all, it is a sort of fairy tale ... and what would a fairy tale be without a happy ending?

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: No drugs; one party but no obvious drinking.
  • Language/Profanity:“God” used as expletive (but not attached to anything else), “bu**mouth,” “su****”.
  • Sex/Nudity: Some kissing; one passionate embrace (not main characters); nothing “all the way.”
  • Violence: A brief fight scene, bloody nose.