« 'Cats' -- Way off-off-Broadway and real | Main | When the pitchman becomes the pitch, man »


A genteel look at the high school hop

As long as there are teenagers and proms and movies, there'll be flicks about frantic teen girls fretting over decorations, dresses and dudes.

"Prom," starring a mixture of experienced and newbie young actors and actresses, gravitates away from trendy "Gleeful" singing, dancing and prancing.  For the most part, it even avoids a big sports game, although a lacrosse jock figures prominently in the plot.

It also shies away from horrific bloodletting ("Carrie, a previous "Prom") on every schoolgirl's night of nights.

Instead, "Prom" focuses on the angst of class president Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), a focused overachiever from a blue-collar home, determined to make prom night live up to its theme of Starry Night.

There are some problems, though.  Nova doesn't have a date, for one thing.  First-time screenwriter Katie Wech stir the plot pot further with a tragedy that destroys or severely scorches the prom decorations just weeks before the big night.

The rest of the prom decoration committee is, like, pooped, so they bail on their class president during her time of crises, yet remain close friends.  (Gosh, I love the magic of the movies.)

That leaves it up to Nova and Jesse (actor/musician Thomas McDonell), the long-haired (cliché alert), motorcycle riding (cliché alert No. 2), high school bad boy (cliché  alert No. 3), who's on detention of sorts after ticking off the principal, to get the disco ball polished and rotating by prom night.

Please don't make me say guess what happens next.  We all know what happens next.  Probably even the young teens (primarily female) know how this thing's going to play out.

The appeal of "Prom," directed by Joe Nussbaum ("Sydney White"), springs from the gentle, almost magical way this conflicted teen cabal grapples with what just might be a first life crisis.  

No one's going to confuse "Prom" with something from the late John Hughes at his high school angst best  ("Pretty in Pink," "The Breakfast Club").

That was then (in the '80s) and "Prom" is now, however.

I'm reminded almost constantly that youth of today might not know or even care about movies that moved past generations.

So, if that's the case, here's the (relatively) new century's prom movie.

I'd just like to thank the filmmakers for not focusing on the glee club or having a pouty, white-faced teen vampire show up to claim the prom king crown.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A genteel look at the high school hop:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.