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A movie about small-town bigotry, self-absorbed celebrities, music, and love! The highs and lows of The Prom, now streaming on Netflix.


A movie about small-town bigotry, self-absorbed celebrities, music, and love! The highs and lows of The Prom, now streaming on Netflix.

Okay, I love musicals, and though I could count on two hands only how many stage musicals I’ve seen, movie musicals would be up in their hundreds. And a lot of them I’ve watched over and over and over (hello Sound of Music, I’m looking at you!)

Firstly, I didn’t realise that The Prom had been a Broadway show before coming to Netflix.

 Secondly, this is great for me because I can judge this movie for what it is and don’t have to make the inevitable comparisons (or feel the same trauma after watching Cats, the movie).

What’s it about?

Well, it’s a new movie from Netflix with a cast that I would walk on a bed of hot coals to see! tells us:  A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theatre stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.

The big stars are Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman – need I say anymore? Oh, alright, if I must.

The highs

  • Jo Ellen Pellman aka. Emma has such a stunning voice and will be a star to watch in the future. From the get-go I wanted to adopt her!
  • James aka. Barry had me crying and smiling and I do not understand some of the criticism he has received for this role.
  • Having just finished watching Nicole in The Undoing, it was refreshing to see her in something as light and heart-warming as this. Be warned though, her character Angie is nowhere in the league of Satine.
  • The songs. Oh my…the songs. They’re catchy and flamboyant and as soon as the movie was over, I bought the soundtrack and will probably drive my family mad as I have it on repeat.
  • The script is full of zingers too and I could spend the rest of the article talking about them. Instead, I’ll choose a stand-out moment for me when the incomparable Ms Streep reluctantly hands over her American Express to help towards the cost of the school prom, and groans as if it was causing her actual pain, ‘Why does being good cost so much.’ I rewound that scene and replayed it FIVE times just because it was that funny.
  • Speaking of Meryl. The lady is a megastar. ‘nuff said.


The lows (of which I only have two)

  • The bigotry. It beggars belief that there are people in this world full of prejudice against other people’s sexual preferences. Especially, a 16-year-old child who tells her parents she’s gay only to have them throw her out of the house! And if that wasn’t heart-wrenching enough, let’s throw in some town folk with their own narrowmindedness!
  • And the school kids. Perfect hair. Perfect looks. Perfect clothes. Puh-lease.

Missed opportunities

Although, I really liked this movie, I wanted the bigots to be held more accountable for their actions, especially Barry’s mother who basically says ‘I’m sorry’ and all is just fine and dandy! Her apology is hollow and to me comes across quite disingenuous given the length of time that has passed and because she only reconnects contacts her son at someone else’s prompting. No Mum, you don’t do that to your own child in the first place!

In conclusion


Yes, this movie is camp and silly and filled with over the top pomp and splendour, but that was exactly why I enjoyed it. I was tapping and clapping and crying and sighing, all whilst Googling Andrew Rannells mind you, and it left me with a big smile on my face.

 In a nutshell, it was pure entertainment, and we could all do with a heaping dose of that as we draw close to the end of the hellish year that 2020 has been!

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Written by Jo-Ann Milne

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