The Prom Review

The musical genre has been one of the great hits over the decades, but lately, it has been one of the misses. Netflix has jumped into the musical genre with their latest film The Prom. The film is full of A-list stars and a message kids and adults alike can get behind this day and age. The message of inclusion for all races, creeds, and sexes. The Prom gets started quickly. Its major stars all combine for a number right off the bat.

The story starts with a school board meeting stating that the high school prom in an Indiana town has been canceled due to a lesbian relationship between teens. Word gets out to some struggling Broadway stars. They decide to go to Indiana and help the community to get them to see the error of their ways. They use their unique talents to help this community struggling with inclusion issues. This rural Indiana town wants to keep its staunch ways and stick to its old values. They need to get into modern times.

All great musicals must have great casts, and The Prom has that in spades. Kerry Washington, Keegan Michael Key, James Corden, and Andrew Rennelis among them. Besides those I mentioned already, The standouts are Jo Ellan Pellman as Emma and Ariana DeBose as Alyssa. They are both fantastic in the film and put forth much love and compassion. They are the ground this film stands on. Their relationship is one everybody should get behind.

All musicals stand or fall on their songs and The Prom has quite a few song numbers. “Unruly Heart”, “Tonight Belongs to You”, “The Lady’s Improving”, “It’s Time to Dance”, and “Zazz” are the standout songs in the film. They range from single sung numbers to group numbers. They have a zip to them and are definitely songs that are entertaining to listen to. That’s what musicals need most. Memorable numbers people remember. 

The Prom has an engrossing story with a very good cast. The songs are serviceable and the story is relatable to a burgeoning community of like-minded men and women. The Prom doesn’t break any new ground though. It’s quite a bit like the stuff we’ve seen in recent years such as High School Musical and Rock of Ages. The set production costumes and hairstyling are all very acceptable as well. 

This film isn’t horrible, but it’s not great either. A few of the actors have been in musicals before and that shows in the final product. Murphy tried going to a place people would like and maybe they will when the film is finished. I just felt like it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s hard to do new things with musicals these days. Here’s hoping next time will be the breakout hit Hamilton or The Greatest Showman were.

3 stars

Dan Skip Allen

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