Skipping this “Prom” is like the best idea ever!
* out of 5
Rated PG for mild language and a brief fight.
Walt Disney Pictures
Article first published as Movie Review: Prom on Blogcritics.
I will always remember… going to my own prom with one of my good friends. She asked me because I had originally asked her to go to another dance and she already had plans (not to go). So alas, there we were at the Little America drinking water, punch, or whatever it was, but the funny thing is, the one thing I remember most was dancing with one of my best guy friends, Matt Mabey. It’s funny, the things you really remember, isn’t it? Maybe it’s because the two of us have been friends since elementary school but who knows. All I know today is that after this weekend’s opening of the new Disney film “Prom,” there won’t even be one lasting memory from anyone unfortunate enough to suffer through it.
“Prom” apparently wants to be the “ Valentine’s Day” of the season. However, that may be giving the film more credit than it deserves. “Prom” follows along a huge group of teenagers as they all fall into the traps of trials, tribulations, and ultimately, clichés, as they get ready for prom.
Brookside High School is no different than any other; you could take a checklist from any John Hughes film, or any high school film at that, and find everyone rightly in place. From overachiever Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden) to bad boy Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonell), wannabe lacrosse jock Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) to star lacrosse varsity jock Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon). There’s also the “Say Anything” Lloyd rip-off (Nicholas Braun), but this guy is no Dobler, that’s for sure.
Everything comes across this lackluster. It’s like watching a bad TV sitcom filmed with a laugh track in mind that someone forgot to throw in during post-production. None of the songs from the soundtrack fit either. Why would any self-respecting DJ play Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart?” The whole film is this misguided. It all feels so flat and thrown together that you’d think you’re watching a work print. There’s rarely any kind of background noise as if Nussbaum thought filming the scenes au naturel is a good idea for a film like this. There’s rarely even any kind of original score. Instead, anytime something even close to resembling a character moment has just another melancholy soundtrack offering that never fits the mood of what’s happening onscreen. And this happens on a regular basis. Just about every five minutes a new “twist” happens and you wish Scooby were sitting next to you to yelp out “ruh-roh.” Except that would actually be funny, unlike anything that happens here.
Scream 4,” in the opening scene featuring Aimee Teegarden playing Jenny, she converses with her friend Marnie (Brittany Robertson) – Marnie: “…if the beginning of “Stab 7” is “Stab 6,” then is the beginning of “Stab 6” “Stab 5,” and if so, what is “Stab 4” about?” Jenny: “You’re overthinking it.” Marnie: “Am I? Or did whoever make it just underthink it?”
What I think? How about we make the end of “Prom” the beginning of “Scream 4” because let’s face it, these characters are so cloying that you sit wishing Ghost Face would make an appearance and stab someone just to shut them all up.
Photos courtesy Walt Disney Pictures