PROM (U): On General Release Friday 3rd June
Despite what Prom’s voiceover introduction attempts to state, prom isn’t usually that time of year where everyone comes together in harmony and peace to celebrate their last moments together before skipping off into the wide open world. It’s often a time of punishing self-introspection, nervous adolescent angst and the last chance for cliques to reinforce themselves.
But let’s push the real world aside for one moment, reality’s got nothing to do with Prom which is a harmless ball of teenage fluff which will appeal to younger viewers but will leave anyone out of short pants expecting more from its cliché-riddled plot.
Goody two shoes Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), head of The Prom Committee and is determined to make this year’s bash unforgettable and desperate for her secret crush to ask her out. That’s all scuppered when the shed containing the prom decorations burns down and her crush announces that he won’t be attending anyway. With less than 3 weeks till the fateful day, she’s saddled with surly bad boy and young Johnny Depp look-alike Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonnell), who’s been ordered to help her rebuild by the principal.
Meanwhile aspiring varsity lacrosse player and music geek Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) is desperate to get together with Simone (Danielle Campbell – so beautiful, it actually hurts to look at her) unaware that she’s been seeing womanizing jock Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon) behind his girlfriend’s back.
Elsewhere nervous senior Lloyd (Nicholas Braum who looks a little like a young John Cusack) is desperate for a date and resorts to asking any girl he sees if she’ll go out with him.
Prom plays out like it’s on rails, desperate to tick every hackneyed plot point in existence; like it’s trying to get a high score in a new videogame called Cliché Hunter 7. So inevitably, the school bad boy turns out to be deeply misunderstood and ends up falling for Little Miss Perfect (10 Things I Hate About You via Dirty Dancing), womanizing jock Tyler is put in his place and Simone finds the boy she really should be going out with.
It’s heavy on the poignant messages and a little lighter on the laughs but for its target audience (say 13 years olds), there’s plenty to like. There’s strong chemistry between the two leads, the soundtrack is fairly decent and there are some unexpectedly genuinely funny lines from Nick Braun. For everyone else, the sheer weight of clichés is likely to leave them unimpressed; it’s a film you can have a quick boogie with but certainly not one for a slow dance.