‘The Prom’ Review: Fierce, But in a Glittery Way

Photo courtesy of Glamour

The film industry entered a discomforting hibernation due to the pandemic and movie releases were postponed. Cinemas across the nation were forced to shut down and moviegoers were ushered into the streaming service world. Platforms like Netflix became ‘housing’ for newly released movies that could be watched from the comfort of your own home.

While scrolling through Netflix, I came across a movie called “The Prom.” It is a vibrant adaptation of the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name. Directed by Ryan Murphy, the film has a star-studded cast that includes Nicole Kidman, James Corden and Meryl Streep.

This infectious comedy follows a small troupe of out-of-luck Broadway stars who swarm a conservative town in Indiana to aide a lesbian teen, Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), who wants to go to prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa Greene (Ariana DeBose).

Barry Glickman (James Cordon), Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) serve as Emma’s uninvited benefactors, they found Emma’s story on Twitter. With Allen and Glickman’s show “Eleanor! The Eleanor Roosevelt Story,” opening to negative reviews and Dickinson quitting her part in the Chicago musical, they intertwine their declining image with a selfless cause that can boost their future endeavors.

Just by the description, it is clear that “The Prom” has LGBTQ themes. While watching the film, it is easy to reflect on the days of your high school prom. Especially the infamous promposals.

One of the best scenes in the film was when Emma sang a heartfelt song called “Unruly Heart.” Rainbow decorations illuminate Emma’s room and showcase that throughout the hardships Emma had been true to her identity. Other members of the LGBTQ community appear in the song performance as they shared their stories about being who they are.

However, the scene where Emma’s high school PTA Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington), conspired to arrange the prom just for Emma, while they secretly held the actual prom at a private venue was my favorite. I could feel in my gut that she felt betrayed by the deception and the scene was truly heartbreaking to watch.

Overall, I would rate “The Prom” seven out of ten stars. Though the film does meet up with Netflix’s description as being inspiring, emotional and heartfelt, one improvement that could be made is James Corden’s role. His character embodied stereotypes of gay men, which tanked some scenes. Besides that, this movie teaches a valuable lesson about how important equality is in the LGBTQ community and that we should accept others for who they are.

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