Yes, there is teenage heartache in the 2011 Prom, but there is hokum as well.
Nova (Aimee Teegarden) crushes on a boy who’s uninterested in her and, what’s more, faces the total destruction by fire of the prom decorations she and others have fashioned at her high school. After the school principal forces a bad-boy type to help Nova re-do the decorating, the girl gradually draws close to the lad, which doesn’t exactly win her father’s approbation. Meanwhile, other kids at the school try, and sometimes fail, to find dates for the prom, even as others are reaching for a relationship stability they know can be easily denied them.
Thank goodness this is one teen movie that doesn’t accuse kids who are popular of being snobbish or patronizing. (Nova is class president.) Even so, Katie Wech’s script steps into trite Fantasyland even as it attempts to create some serious drama. Why would Nova think Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonell), the “bad boy”, is right for her? Why does a girl called Simone so readily agree to go to the prom with a morally unworthy boy named Tyler? (Interesting: Tyler is the ONLY morally unworthy character in the film, and he’s African-American.) Simone, after all, is loved by polite, nice-looking Lucas, one of the teens who aches for the aforementioned relationship stability.
A Disney movie, the profanity-free, sex-free Prom fails to be as convincing and as fresh as it ought to be. Teegarden (of Friday Night Lights fame), McDonell, Nolan Sotillo and many others are only passable in their roles, but at least they’re that. Danielle Campbell (Simone) and Kylie Bunbury are less than passable; they’re simply dull, although Miss Campbell has the advantage of being glamorously beautiful.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone from seeing this film, but I do consider it a weakling.