I am an unabashed lover of teen films. I love all the drama and angst that comes along with them. It is just unfortunate that lately there have not been too many good ones. Besides “Easy A” teen films have been largely forgettable over the past couple of years. Every time one is coming out I get all excited and end up disappointed. Maybe this one will be different…
Prom is a very important moment in teenagers lives. And Disney is all about important moments. So it is natural then that Disney has now done a film about prom. In this one film, as Disney is want to do, they try to hit all marks. In their take on prom they incorporate the class president, the beauty, the geek, the jock, and the rebel into the story. What it all really adds up to is a soap opera starring teens, but sadly it is not good enough to make me want to tune in again tomorrow.
The most important event every year at high school is the senior prom. All students look forward to it. That is, almost all students. Brookside High class president Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden – from television’s Friday Night Lights) is determined to make this the best prom ever. In a stroke of bad luck, three weeks before prom all the decorations for the night are destroyed in a fire. To make matters worse, Nova is stuck with Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonell – Twelve), a rebel who rides a motorcycle and couldn’t be less interested in anything to do with prom, as her helper to redecorate the gym.
They are not the only two Brookside Highers with prom problems. The top candidates for prom queen and king, Jordan (Kylie Bunbury) and Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon – The Bodyguard, Terminator 2: Judgement Day), are not quite the super couple that everyone thinks they are. Mei (Yin Chang – from television’s Gossip Girl) does not know how to tell her boyfriend that she is going to design school in New York instead of University of Michigan with him. Tess (Raini Rodriguez – Paul Blart: Mall Cop) encourages her shy step-brother Lloyd (Nicholas Braun – Sky High) to get the courage up to ask a girl to prom. Sophomore Simone (Danielle Campbell – from television’s Prison Break) has to choose between two guys – the nice guy and the smoothie.
Disney is trying to go after a whole new generation of tweens. Not sure if this is the vehicle to do that, though. All of the stories in this film are quite predictable, juvenile and superficial. The genuinely sweet moments don’t make up for the weak story.
There are altogether too many characters in the film which leads to a general confusion as they all begin to seem the same and lack of screen time for most of them.
Parents will be happy that the film is quite tame. No sex, drinking or violence here. Friends are supportive and parents are sympathetic. Even the bad guys are not that bad and still likeable. There are also nice lessons about friendship, loyalty and trying to avoid shallowness.
There is a good film wanting to come out, but it is drowned under all the clichés. Director Joe Nussbaum (Sydney White) cheapens things by always making the easy choice and in this case that equals boring.