The Prom Image

The Prom

By Norman Gidney | December 14, 2020

NEW ON NETFLIX! Ryan Murphy‘s film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom made its premiere on Netflix to the delight of theatre geeks (myself included) and Meryl Streep worshipers (myself also included) everywhere. The mildly entertaining diversion tells the story of a group of actors from The Great White Way who descends upon a small town in Indiana after a female student is told she cannot take her girlfriend to the prom. Their hope is to take up her cause in order to save their flailing careers and become relevant again. The Prom carries with it a collection of mostly forgettable tunes, a social message that seems passé, and glitzy production wrapped up in a pink cellophane bow targeted at those still wondering if being gay is okay. In short, ooof!

“…descends upon a small town in Indiana after a female student is told she cannot take her girlfriend to the prom.”

The story opens with Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden) debuting their latest stage musical, Eleanor! in New York. The show closes on opening night with the New York Times and other tastemakers saying that Dee and Barry don’t get the characters’ selfless nature while their publicist, Sheldon (Kevin Chamberlin), explains that nobody likes a narcissist. Bartender and actor Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells) serves up drinks, while old pal Angie Dickenson (Nicole Kidman) saddles up to the bar after leaving her role in Chicago, as the understudy has never actually taken the stage in 20 years. On Twitter, Angie finds Emma Nolan’s (Jo Ellen Pellman) story about being denied prom because she’s a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She convinces the drinking group of failures that what their collective careers need are a cause and headlines to regain attention.

The four travel to Indiana and ambush a PTA meeting lead by the story’s villain, Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington). Mrs. Greene is enraged, long-time Dee Dee Allen fan, and school principal Tom Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key) sides with the artists. The stage is set for a battle royale of social norms against the progressive, inclusive artists seeking attention.

The Prom (2020)

Directed: Ryan Murphy

Written: Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin

Starring: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Jo Ellen Pellman, Tracey Ullman, Mary Kay Place, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

The Prom Image

"…nobody likes a narcissist."

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