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May 2, 2011
Review - " Prom "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Joe Nussbaum
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, DeVaughn Nixon,
Nicholas Braun

For me, the bar for high school movies has been set to a very high
standard.  Cameron Crowe gave us “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” &
then there’s the architect of 80's teen angst on film, the late great John
Hughes.  I’m so partial.  Many of Hughes’ films represent my own
coming of age.  But what about today’s iPod  generation of young
people?  “Prom” might very well resonate for them & I hope it does.

I went to Disney's new teen flick Prom expecting a good story and
some solid acting but not a blockbuster movie, and that is what I got. If
anything was lacking in PROM, it was the script because the acting
was better than the script, which is kind of sad. The script was rather
predictable, with no real twists that you don’t see coming a mile away.

The movie takes place during the three weeks before prom and
showcases several creative ways to ask a girl to prom. I’m thinking
some girls whose schools have May proms may be seeing the “Prom?”
from the movie as part of their prom invitation. The movie deals with
typical teen angst over prom and even long time couples have issues
about attending prom. We watch Lloyd (Nicholas Braun) try really hard
to find a prom date. Does he have success? I’m not telling.

This is your basic good-girl-meets-bad-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-
tracks story. Aimee Teegarden (Nova) leads the ensemble cast of
teens just like her character leads everything at her high school, with
confidence and precision. School bad boy Jesse (Thomas McDonell) deals with his personal issues as he grows as a person
throughout the movie. There are even a few sophomores sprinkled into the movie, mostly so the seniors have someone to
give advise to…and cheat on their girlfriend with!

Prom is rated PG for mild language and a brief fight that results in a bloody lip. This movie is appropriate for teens and
tweens ages 11-18. One thing we found a bit disconcerting is that when an accident causes the shed full of prom
decorations to burn to the ground, no one tries to figure out why, nor do the students responsible step up and confess or
even show any remorse-actually another student in punished (for an unrelated issue) and made to help make new
decorations. It felt like a gaping hole was left in the story and a teachable
moment was left untaught. The story pressed forward and the fire was a
fact of life and not the result of the actions of students who were where
they shouldn’t be. We also noticed 3-4 clips from the promo videos never
made it into the final film which we felt was odd because some of them were
funny lines.

Critics will trounce.  But at the end of the day, who really cares about
movie critics?  Disney’s “Prom” is for high schoolers.  Cynical chaperone
types should probably sit this one out. In the end I recommend PROM for
those who like a clean teen flick with some heart and romance.