Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


The Prom: A Disgrace to Movie Musicals

I’m a great singer and fantastic actress, but  “It’s Not About Me”, this article is about the newly released movie musical, The Prom.

The film adaptation of The Prom is based on the preceding Broadway musical which took its ideas from Jack Viertel. Both the movie and musical follow the journey of four unemployed actors desperately trying to gain back the glory they once had. Dee Dee Allen, Barry Glickman, Angie Dickinson, and Trent Oliver travel to a hillbilly town called Edgewater, Indiana to help Emma Nolan, who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to high school prom. What once started as a selfish endeavor results in a story that attempts to illustrate the power of love and friendship.

Between the painfully mediocre music, bad acting, and terrible plotline, this show was a train wreck through and through. Not even Andrew Rannells’ performance of “Love Thy Neighbor” could save this mess of a musical. 

James Corden’s portrayal of Barry Glickman was surely a casting mistake. Many of the scenes were trying to overcompensate and convince the audience that Corden’s character was genuinely gay and American. However, nothing could cover up Corden’s poor American accent and average singing. Meryl Streep’s (Dee Dee Allen) acting was not nearly the quality she is so famously known for. During her musical numbers, I found myself skipping through them as quickly as possible – not for lack of talent, but the overall dynamic of her songs was not appealing. Nicole Kidman (Angie Dickinson) was simply there, and she didn’t add much in regards to moving the plot forward. To combat the dreadfulness the other actors portrayed, Andrew Rannells (Trent Oliver) saves the day. His performance of “Love Thy Neighbor” was not enough to make up for the other numbers, but it still remained as the highlight of the musical. 

A side character in her own story, Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) remained eerily cheery as homophobic remarks and actions were made against her. Though the center of the story, she was overpowered by Mr. Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key) and Dee Dee’s relationship. Mr. Hawkins’ overall character was flat and his chemistry with Dee Dee was lackluster. The various high schoolers that made brief appearances again didn’t make much impact other than being homophobic towards Emma. 

The stars of the film were truthfully the glitzy and bright outfits. The main characters’ over the top, Broadway reminiscent outfits beautifully juxtaposed the average and modern high schooler attire. As is traditional with Hollywood films, the set was intricate and detailed – matching the mood of the scene. If there was ever a time where the crew deserves the most praise, it’s the crew behind The Prom.

The Prom is “Changing Lives” of theatre nerds everywhere – and not for the better. 


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Malak is a sophomore and this is her second year writing for VC and her first year as EIC. When she's not writing questionable literature, she enjoys creating video segments for the Morning Buzz, participating in Speech & Debate, playing the flute in band, working in stage crew for the UM Underground Players, among many other extracurriculars. Outside of school (and procrastinating), Malak can be found watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix while drinking an unhealthy amount of cold brew.