Prom. It’s the culmination of the entire senior class, who spent the last four years trying to figure out who they are and where they are going, stand around in formal dresses and tuxedos for the popular kids to be crowned King and Queen. The punch is not spiked. No one is making out in the bathroom stall and everyone has accepted their future roles in society by the last notes of the final song. This is Disney’s version of PROM!
According to her opening voiceover, Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden) believes that prom is the one thing that can bring everyone together one last time before graduation. As the head prom decorator and president of the student body, she will stop at nothing to make this night special for everyone. Even when the decorations (housed in a run down shack that is conveniently located on the football field) go up in smoke, Nova is determined to save prom when no other seniors are willing to help. Fortunately, Jesse (Thomas McDonnell) has been cutting class enough to land him in detention where his punishment is hanging twinkle lights and fixing the pivotal water fountain center piece alongside the high school’s most likely to succeed candidate in Nova.
PROM writer Katie Wech does a pretty good job of keeping a smooth flow with four sub-plots, even though these storylines are not as exciting as Nova and Jesse’s obvious budding romance. One can only assume that the PG rating was given to this movie because Thomas McDonnell is a bad boy on a motorcycle with an uncanny resemblance to a young Johnny Depp from the days of yore. Sadly, when he opens his mouth or begins to act, the similarities cease to exist.
The true comic relief came in the form of Nicholas Brann. Move over John Cusack! There’s a new Lloyd in town and he’s looking for a prom date! Channeling all of the nuances of classic Cusack, Brann’s character uses the yearbook as his own personal rolodex, hoping to land a girl…any girl…as his date for the “soul crushing mistress” known as prom. Never deterred, he pours his heart out, hangs banners, writes “prom” on a windshield using Post-It notes and is still met by rejection after rejection. His sister Tess is always there to offer an encouraging word or solution, including her suggestion to ask the girl from his class who is in a coma. By far, this dynamic duo was the most entertaining part of the movie.
Because this is Disney, each scenario ended as it should have. The mean guy learned his lesson. The kid with the sweet heart got the girl. Lloyd found a date and Nova shared a lukewarm, age appropriate kiss with Jesse in front of the pivotal fountain on the dance floor. PROM should have been a movie special on the Disney Channel just as its HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL predecessor. However, I’m sure the tweens who have yet to reach the prom-attending age are currently dreaming that one day they too will have the chance to kiss a cute boy in motorcycle boots.
Video: I have to say that the actual prom certainly was pretty. I’m so glad Jesse got that fountain working.
Audio: The bonus features included several music videos from the soundtrack. They sounded really good on Blu-ray.
Last Chance Lloyd (7 minutes): This short dove further into Lloyd’s quest to find a date. Naturally, I loved it.
Putting On Prom (10 minutes): Director Joe Nussbaum and writer Katie Wech take us through the making of PROM. Wech divulges that Nova’s storyline was based on her actual prom. Nussbaum talks about finding the perfect Jesse and how they made a conscious decision to hire a bunch of kids who had never done feature films before. It was interesting because DeVaughn Nixon (who played Tyler) had a familiarity about him that I couldn’t place. It turns out that he was Whitney Houston’s son in THE BODYGUARD.
Bloopers (3 minutes): I always enjoy a good blooper reel. This one was not funny.
Deleted Scenes (4 minutes): As always, these scenes were best left on the cutting room floor.
Music Videos (15 minutes): Seven music videos were featured in this section. Ironically, they were not ALL from Disney Channel tween sensations.