Based on the Tony-nominated musical, Prom, follows four Broadway stars (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden and Andrew Rannells) as they travel to a small conservative town in Indiana to support a young girl (Jo Ellen Pellman), who isn’t allowed to bring her girlfriend to prom.
We all know I am a sucker for a good musical. And in a year where Broadway has gone dark, a movie musical may just fill the void.
The Prom was not exactly the movie musical I wished for, but it certainly isn’t a disaster like the dumpster fire more commonly known as Cats.
Underneath all the exaggerated direction, forgettable musical numbers, glittery costumes and cheesiness, at its core, The Prom is a celebration of the LGBTQI community. Representation matters and I do love the sweet high school love story hidden underneath all the utter craziness and high spirited hoopla. I just kind of wished we focused more on that – but that’s more criticism of the musical itself.
Honestly, I expected The Prom to be over the top, campy, and ridiculous — it is directed by Ryan Murphy, after all. But I just didn’t expect it to be THIS exaggerated. It felt like an episode of Glee on acid with way better talent.
And the star power talent is what makes this film enjoyable and why some people will fall in love with it.
Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman are absolutely THRIVING in their roles as the glitzy and over the top Broadway personas. Streep is having the time of her life, as the narcissistic diva and don’t even get me started on Kidman.
After watching Kidman become “undone” in HBO’s The Undoing, it’s SO amazing to watch her shift gears to something light hearted and fun. Honestly, her musical number was my favorite — our girl definitely has the zazz in this role.
Both are a joy to watch on screen and will leave you smiling, fan girling, and wanting to raid their closets.
However, the true heart of the film is newcomer, Jo Ellen Pellman. Her enthusiasm, vulnerability, and pure emotion capture the highs and lows of not only being a teenager, but being a gay teenager. Not to mention, her voice is incredible. Another young talent I hope we see more of in the future.
Similar to many critics, I too see the issues with James Corden’s characature-like performance. The whole character wasn’t to my liking. It was a bit much and a step back for the gay community.
But, thankfully the rest of the cast is great, including stand out supporting performances by Keegan-Michael Key and Kerry Washington. Andrew Rannells was also fantastic, and I could have used more of him. Makes me wonder why he wasn’t he casted in Corden’s role? Maybe he’d be more likable…
So should you go to The Prom? Well, even if it’s lame, way too long, and over the top, you don’t skip out on The Prom.
Final Thoughts: It is forgettable and ridiculous, however, if you need something mindless and want to gawk at the perfection that is Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, this is one Prom worth attending.