I don’t know what’s worse, honestly- made-for-TV Disney movies that are, naturally, utter shit, or their terrible films that actually make it to theaters. I mean, sure, Prom was awful, but the fact that it made it to the big screen meant that someone, somewhere said “What? A movie about teenagers going to prom and not having sex or doing anything naughty? Fuck yes! Greenlight that shit!” Either way, the end result is a goddamn shame no matter how much money someone pumped into it, and besides, Disney will sell enough T-shirts, jeans, notebooks, soundtrack CDs, and tampons with Demi Lovato’s face on them to continue to make the same heartwarming shit for the whole family that’s allowed their network to stay alive (and successful, I might add) after years of mediocrity and stagnation. I almost respect Bob Iger. Sure, he runs a company that pumps out the same lukewarm schlock every three months. But if you’re smart enough to spend no effort producing and writing crap, and the country buys billions of dollars of it, you’ve earned your money. And if you think I’m being a little harsh on the idiots who made these movies successful, just remember- there’s an economic system where it’s illegal to take advantage of the stupid, and it’s called Communism, you un-American, cheese-eating frog.
Prom is the perfect illustration of what I was saying in that angry block of words right above this one. It’s just a generic movie that’s so typical and average that it’s hardly even there. I don’t mean it’s mediocre in quality, I mean it is so bland it’s like watching beige paint dry on Joe Biden’s jacket. I’ve seen truly awful movies that were bombastic enough to be at least entertaining. Prom is terrible because of how dead on middle of the road it is. There wasn’t enough thought put into it to make it really good, and there wasn’t enough misdirected passion to make it really bad. Either of those things require effort, and Prom didn’t have a fucking iota of any of that. This was a corporate project, not a film project.
Prom‘s plot is the whole ensemble cast/vignette-y thing, but it’s actually completely predictable- completely predictable- sensible preppy girl winds up with the bad boy, Asian guy winds up with Asian girl, the lovable grunge rock dude (this movie was made in 2011, right? Because we don’t have Grungies anymore. They all killed themselves when Kurt Cobain did) gets the hottie, who was fucking the black guy behind the black girl’s back, oh, what a surprise. Oh, excuse me. Did I say “fucking” two sentences back? I forgot this was a Disney movie. They shared a glass of milk in the back of his car and watched Lemonade Mouth: Scene It? Edition, now on DVD!
The main characters seem to be the aforementioned bad boy/preppy girl. At first, he doesn’t want to go to prom, because he’s so emotionally detached since his dad left (What? So original), but then, he gets in trouble for cutting class and as punishment is forced to help Preppy girl prepare for prom after all their prom stuff was destroyed in a fire set off by the candle of two other students who had a romantic dinner in the Prom Equipment Shed (yes, that happens in real life, it happens every goddamn day). So then, they fight and are like “ooh, why do we have to be these stereotypes to each other, lets let down our emotional barriers and kiss,” but then, something dumb happens and he thinks she doesn’t want him so, (no bullshit on this next part, guys), he goes and physically assaults random strangers outside of his mom’s diner. And his moms like “you’re a fighter, kid, just like your dad,” so then bad boy goes to prom and comforts preppy girl and they dance, and that’s the end. The whole movie’s theme about how we shouldn’t coalesce into the typical high school cliques and all come together falls apart when you realize that the characters were backwards-engineered around their high school cliques.
And of course, there’s the obvious fact that when real high school people go to prom, visits to the free clinic skyrocket the next Monday. These characters are 18-year-old seniors going to prom and behaving like toddlers. We don’t even get the adolescent mini-adults of typical teen fiction: these are overgrown children in tuxedos. Anything coming close to being a realistic portrayal of high school is wrapped in cliché and safety. You can’t have a PG-rated movie about Prom. Because people lose their virginities afterwards, you guys. They have sex, which is something this movie is so intent on avoiding. The tweeny audience who the movie was made for probably had a good time watching it, but that doesn’t excuse the rest of the movie. The world of Prom is a world which, like the rest of Disney, is in every way completely unlike our own.