Prom night has a way of bringing out the worst anxieties in all of us. In Lorena Gordon’s short film, At Last, Lauren (Katie Burton) is a timid high school teen who is just about ready to leave for prom and awaiting her date, James (Zack Gottsagen). But, of course, her parents (George Lopez and Marlene Forte) are there to dote over their glammed-up daughter.
Once Lauren arrives at the school gym, she quickly jettisons her cheesy 90s prom dress for a slick suit and tie. With encouragement from James, she enters this teen rite of passage as her true self and quickly catches the eye of Sam (Tricia Brooks). Sam takes the lead and asks Lauren to dance.
“Once Lauren arrives at the school gym, she quickly jettisons her cheesy 90s prom dress for a slick suit and tie.”
Writer/director Gordon taps into the emotion of the situation. Lauren’s anxiousness about prom is a universal feeling we’ve all had about that night. Gordon then amps up the anxiety of asking someone to dance and the possible humiliation of rejection. She then escalates this feeling when publicly declaring one’s orientation — not just to friends but also to her family.
At Last is Lauren’s coming out story. It’s a sweet story with heartfelt performances from Katie Burton and the Peanut Butter Falcon himself, Zach Gottsagen. Instead of making some grand socio-political statement, I appreciated that this is simply an uncomplicated story of a young woman taking that bold step and declaring to friends, family, and mostly herself that she is gay.
"…a sweet story with heartfelt performances..."