Broadway’s biggest disappointment

Premiering on December 4, “The Prom” is based on the 2016 movie of the same name and features many prominent Broadway actors such as Andrew Rannells and Meryl Streep.

photo by Netflix

Premiering on December 4, “The Prom” is based on the 2016 movie of the same name and features many prominent Broadway actors such as Andrew Rannells and Meryl Streep.

“Mamma Mia,” “Chicago,” “Grease”… and “Rent.” These popular musical movies have been beloved (or hated) by millions since their premieres. Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” is the newest, albeit largely disappointing, addition to this genre, centered around four Broadway stars who travel to Indiana to help a lesbian teen go to prom when her homophobic school refuses to allow her. 

Easily, the best part of the film is the relationship between Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) and her girlfriend, Alyssa Greene (Ariana Debose). The films best scenes center around Emma’s relationships with the other characters, whether it is broadway star Barry Glickman (James Cordon) or the homophobic PTA member Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington). Seeing the impact all of these people have on Emma makes the story more interesting and feel more realistic. 

Unfortunately, the movie instead focuses on the selfish, overly flamboyant broadway stars Barry Glickman and Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep). The movie itself seems to acknowledge the problem with these two characters, admitting they are unlikeable, but when two characters are established to be loathsome, why should the audience like them? Practically every time they “grace” the screen, viewers find themselves wondering when they can return to the high school drama. 

Of course, getting positive LGBTQ+ representation is always a good thing, and the journey Emma Nolan goes on feels at least somewhat realistic. However, this does feel slightly ruined with Cordon’s character Glickman, who feels more like a stereotypical gay man rather than an actual human being. In addition, it would have been nice for an actually queer man to have been cast in this role instead of Cordon.

Unless you are either looking for decent LGBTQ+ representation or are a fan of the musical, watching “The Prom” is a waste of time that could be better spent watching a better high school Broadway show like “Grease” or “High School Musical.” 

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