Just in time for prom season, Disney released the aptly titled film, “Prom” to theaters. While the film felt more like a Disney Channel original - as opposed to a film destined for the big screen - it may appeal to it’s target audience on Blu-ray and DVD combo. For those not attending prom anytime soon, or those who really have no interested in prom, the film is probably not for you.
While the picture tries to be about other things and even opens up with listing the traditional student groups (think “Breakfast Club”), eventually stating that prom is the one night that brings everyone together.
“Prom” focuses on several characters and their individual quest to go to prom. There’s longtime couple, Mei (Yin Chang) and Justin (Jared Kusnitz) who’s enthusiasm for prom is sidetracked when Mei gets into a college in a different state from Justin. There’s Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon) and Jordan (Kylie Bunbury), predicted prom king and queen, who have some trouble of their own when Jordan finds another girl’s earring in Tyler’s car. Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) and his best friend, Corey (Cameron Monaghan) spend most of their time talking about music and hanging out, that is until Lucas starts to take an interest in his lab partner, Simone (Danielle Campbell). Then there’s Lloyd (Nicholas Braun) who’s sister, Tess (Raini Rodriguez) encourages him to not be so shy and ask someone to prom—the results of which are pretty original. Finally, there’s class president Nova (Aimee Teegarden) who’s a bit of an overachiever with a sweet heart who’s initial invite to prom doesn’t go quite as she imagined.
The majority of “Prom” focuses on Nova and her relationship with the “bad boy” Jesse (Thomas McDonell) who gets in trouble for skipping class and riding his motorcycle on school grounds. Nova and several of her friends are on prom committee, and together they orchestrate what should be a very special night. However, when all of their hard work accidentally gets burned, Nova is left to rebuild with Jesse when the principal insists that if Jesse doesn’t help, he won’t graduate. Of course, I’m sure you can guess where this is going. Nova and Jesse are at first glance complete opposites, but end up overcoming their initial dislike for each other just in time for prom.
Having several characters and storylines certainly helps “Prom,” as it gives the target audience several choices for someone to root for, and/or relate to. However, the multiple storylines does make the film feel rushed, so that most characters aren’t developed as well as they could have been if the film had focused on just a handful of people. What “Prom” does have going for it is the fact that the tween/teen audience it’s intended for may enjoy the romances, the tension, the prom dresses, and even the humor. The cast is enjoyable and for the most part likeable. Teegarden turns in a genuine performance, Sotillo and Monaghan feel authentic and almost reminiscent of 80’s-90’s teenage characters/actors, and Chang and Kusnitz are great together, even if the characters do feel a bit mature for their age.
While not the studio's best effort towards the teen target audience, it’s something the younger audience may appreciate, especially given the variety of storylines to follow. That being said, the characters still act a bit more mature than normal kids in high school probably do. Recommended for the target audience.
The DVD edition is also included in this Blu-Ray/DVD Combo.
VIDEO: "Prom" is presented by Disney in 1.78:1 (1080p). Picture quality was perfectly acceptable, with sharpness and detail that fell short of remarkable, but remained at least consistently pleasing.
Some slight edge enhancement was spotted in a few scenes and a couple of minor specks on the print were noticed, but the film otherwise looked clean and clear. Colors remained bright and well-saturated, with no smearing. Flesh tones looked accurate, while black level remained satisfactory.
SOUND: The film's DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack largely comes from the front speakers, with the surrounds only providing light reinforcement of the music on occasion. Audio quality is perfectly average, with a bassy score (including Katy Perry and other pop tunes) and clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: “Putting on Prom” - a brief making-of feature that includes some behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and an overall look at bringing “Prom” to the big screen.
“Bloopers” - there are some funny moments throughout the blooper real, and fans may enjoy seeing the cast out of character.
“Last Chance Lloyd” is a short film that follows the character Lloyd in several attempts to ask girls to prom.
“Deleted Scenes” are also included.
“7 Music Videos” including: “Not Your Birthday” - Allstar Weekend, “Your Surrender”- Neon Trees, “Time Stand” - Moon, "We Could Be Anything" - Nolan Sotillo, "Juntos Lo Haremos Bien" - Nolan Sotillo, "I'll Be Yours"- Those Dancing Days, “Come On, Let's Go" -Girl in a Coma
“Putting on Prom” and “bloopers” are included on the DVD version as well.
Final Thoughts: With an enjoyable cast, the target audience may enjoy the romances, the tension, the prom dresses, and even the humor. A rental recommendation for the target audience.
The Film B-