Prom. The anxiety of trying to find a date, going with your friends to get a tuxedo or a dress, renting a limo and finding out what to do later in the night.
And when it comes to movies, there have been a good number of prom films in the '80s from "Footloose" and "Pretty In Pink", the 90's with "She's All That", "American Pie" and "10 Things I Hate About You" but lately, prom films have become more horror-driven, and in recent memory for non-horror prom film's in recent years, the only thing that comes to mind is the 2004 film "Mean Girls" and the 2008 film "High School Musical 3'.
But in terms of a film that primarily focuses on a high school prom, I guess America's due for a new prom film.
And so we have Disney's "Prom" directed by Joe Nussbaum ("George Lucas in Love", "American Pie Presents the Naked Mile") and written by Katie Wech.
The film focuses on a group of teenagers from the same high school preparing for the prom.
"Prom" is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:78:1). For the most part, "Prom" is a beautiful looking film. Because there are so many characters, various locations, outdoor, indoor, you get a wide range of colors featured throughout the film. Colors are absolutely vibrant, black levels are nice and deep and you can see actually see the detail on the faces of the characters as well.
Picture quality is very good!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Prom" is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24-bit), French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. The film is primarily dialogue and musically driven. So, dialogue and music is crystal clear and when it comes to surround usage, its pretty much the music that envelops the soundscape. From Katy Perry's "Firework", Taio Cruz's "Break Your Heart" and plenty of Indie music playing throughout the film, definitely makes the film upbeat. But aside from that, I don't recall any major use of the surround channels. "Prom" is pretty much a front and center-channel driven film.
Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.
"Prom" comes with the following special features:
Last Chance Lloyd - (10:18) Scenes featuring Lloyd trying to ask a girl out for the prom and his younger sister Tess trying to help him out.
Putting On Prom - (5:58) Producer Justin Springer, writer Katie Wech and director Joe Nussbaum talk about how they cast the characters for the film and the cast talk about working with each other.
Bloopers - (2:34) Outtakes from "Prom".
Deleted Scenes - (7:44) Featuring an introduction by Director Joe Nussbaum and producer Justin Springer for each of the four deleted scenes.
Music Videos - (24:16) Featuring the following music videos: All Star Weekend - Not Your Birthday, Neon Trees - Your Surrender, Moon - Time Stand, Nolan Sotillo - We Could Be Anything (English Version), Nolan Sotillo - Junto Lo Havemos Bien (Spanish Version), Those Dancing Days - I'll Be Yours and Girl in a Coma - Come On, Let's Go.
"Prom: 2-Disc Combo Pack" comes with the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film. The DVD is presented in widescreen (1:78:1) - Enhanced for 16×9 Television, English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DVS Dolby Digital and subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish. Also, a slip over case is included.
Prom films are not the easiest films to create especially if you incorporate many characters to the film.
Back in 1999, "She's All That" incorporated a lot of people but opted to include Hollywood's up-and-coming stars such as singer Usher and Lil' Kim, actor Freddie Prinze , Paul Walker and actress Rachael Leigh Cook, Gabrielle Union and Anna Paquin. But what made the film work was how you have high school life outside of the prom and everything leading to the prom as the climax.
We have seen the efficacy from that formula for prom films such as "Pretty in Pink", "Footloose", "Mean Girls"...you have to showcase the high school life of these characters and then lead to the prom.
And sure, you have the banality of the dance scene, the fight scene that you typically get from prom films but with "Prom", the problem is that there is too much focus on different characters, there is not enough story development to make you care for them. The only couple you are emotionally invested in is Nova and Jesse. Two people who are opposites but are attracted to each other.
But when it comes to the other characters of the film, you just don't care. Mei and Jared, we assume they a long time couple but there was no plot device to setup the friction between the couple until later into the film. The same goes with the love triangle between Tyler, Simone and Jordan. Jordan's character wasn't really explored. She shows up earlier in the film and disappears until prom day.
There is so many of these situations where you felt blocks of story may have been edited out for time, that it's unfortunate. In fact, there are deleted scenes that probably shouldn't have been cut out at all. And this is sad, considering Joe Nussbaum mentions it right after his commentary for the deleted scenes, in which he tells viewers "hopefully, you agree that these scenes should have been deleted"...but unfortunately, some should have stayed in.
"Prom" is a film that feels incomplete because the pacing of the storyline for the characters outside of Nova and Jesse is off. I liken it to a child's first try at connect the dots. When the child forgets to follow the correct order and miss a dot, the picture doesn't seem right. It's the same thing with "Prom" and how it introduces so many characters without building the storyline around those characters.
But Aimee Teegarden and Thomas McDonell do a wonderful job playing the main couple of the film. For those who grew up in the '90s, it was quite interesting to see Christine Elise (who was the spunky teenager, Emily Valentine on "Beverly Hills 90210') playing Jesse's mother and also a brief cameo by actress Faith Ford ("Murphy Brown" and "Hope & Faith") as the mother of Nova.
As for the Blu-ray, there a quite a few special features and its cool to see a good number of music videos included on the Blu-ray. The only thing that I wish was included on the Blu-ray are the web episodes of "Corey & Lucas For the Win" featuring "Prom" Sophomores Cory (Cameron Monaghan) and Lucas (played by Nolan Sotillo).
Obviously the purpose was to show how different types of students deal with prom and also, its target audience are more than likely tweens and teens who probably are not going to delve so much into how deep the story is. If anything, it's a safe film as well, so parents wondering if there is going to be any hanky panky teen sex ala "American Pie", they need not worry about that with "Prom". There is a fight scene and teens ditching class but nothing else beyond that.
Overall, "Prom" has its fair share of fun moments but also is hurt by its missed potential. If you are a tween, teen or a parent looking for an upbeat prom film, then Disney's "Prom" is definitely for you!