The Prom on Netflix is helmed by the likes of Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington and James Corden. Even so, it fails to continue what it started.
Based in present-day Indiana, The Prom tells the story of Emma, a teen who got her school Prom cancelled because she wished to bring her girlfriend along as her date.
When hell breaks loose on Twitter, four celebrities and Broadway performers from New York reach Indiana to gain publicity behind the veil of supporting LGBTQ rights.
The Prom is a musical comedy that intertwines Emma’s life with Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep), Barry Glickman (James Corden), Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) and Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells).
The only thing that makes The Prom a delight is its cast. Streep visibly stands out as Dee Dee with her extravagant charisma and narcissism. It was a delight to see her in a musical again after Mamma Mia 2 in 2018. The charm, however, isn’t the same in this case.
Nicole Kidman, as Angie, is good enough but given her accolades in the past, there is little to no arc to her character. Musicals are supposed to leave more scope for performance and dramatics. Except for one scene, Kidman is just seen cheering from behind all throughout the film.
Jo Ellen Pellman makes her debut in Hollywood with The Prom. She might get excused for it was her first film, but her performance is nothing more than subpar.
The surprise delight, however, is James Corden as Barry. He even generates actual laughter in and out of the frame. Kerry Washington stars as the conservative and homophobic mother and just like the plot, her character too gets lost somewhere in between.
The Prom tries a hand at being musical, a genre that is not too common today. While it is nothing close to the classical representation of it from the 50s, the former half does induce some grandeur.
The cinematography is well-planned. From dolly-in movements to overdramatic and low-angle long shots, the film uses it all to create the typical musical effect.
In one of the sequences, Principal Hawkins (Keegan Michael-Key) sings an ode to Broadway, which appropriately summarizes the impact of art on otherwise tedious lives.
Big Little Lies fans could fancy a cheer upon seeing Kidman and Streep share screen space again. The magnanimous difference of roles is proof of their versatility as actors.
Upon establishing the premise for viewers, The Prom visibly forgets what it had started. Soon after the four arrive in Indiana, the school approves The Prom. While this gains them no publicity (as intended), none of them care to enquire why is that.
This makes up for a big loophole and the loss of potentially better turn of events, as opposed to how the film actually proceeds.
Apart from Barry and Dee Dee, there is no chemistry between characters. Despite many forced musical sequences that were supposed to pave way for bonding, nothing quite delivers as intended.
The Prom soon becomes a tedious journey to sit through. It is only so far Streep’s presence can take viewers. In the absence of a plot actually leading somewhere, director Ryan Murphy can’t pull through for long.
The Prom should only be watched for its cast. While they aren’t at their best, their presence makes things better or even so, can make some reminisce for better.
While there is a hefty chance that the film might get lost in an array of December 11 releases, one might finally arrive to it. And when that happens, it will make up for a decent one-time watch.