The Promenade: 10 Questions To Suppose About After Watching The New Netflix Musical
When it comes to Netflix’s star-studded production of The Prom, one thing is universal: This movie is great fun. And mostly for the right reasons!
Based on the short-lived Broadway musical, The Prom tells the story of Emma (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman), an Indiana high school girl who isn’t allowed to dance with her friend Alyssa (Hamilton’s Ariana DeBose). That’s at least part of the story. The film is mostly about a quartet of washed-out actors – Dee Dee (Meryl Streep), Barry (James Corden), Trent (Andrew Rannells), and Angie (Nicole Kidman) – who decide to stand up for Emma in one last attempt if relevant .
What follows is a musical clash of ideologies, with Headmaster Tom (Keegan-Michael Key) joining the celebs in the fight against sinister PTA President Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington), who also happens to be Alyssa’s mother. The plot is thick!
Two hours and 17 minutes later, everything is fine – it’s a musical after all – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few questions. With that in mind, here are 10 more thoughts on The Prom:
1. First things first: Why cord? The biggest complaint from critics across the board is Corden’s “insulting” performance as a gay man. In all honesty, we’re surprised that Murphy – who recently brought us a Broadway production and a movie of The Boys in the Band with an all-gay cast – would put a straight man in the role of Barry, given how much more Weight a gay actor could have performed. (Bonus question: which gay actor would you have liked to see as Barry?)
2. Did anyone feel like they were watching a really long episode of Glee? We swear we weren’t just asking this because it was directed by Ryan Murphy. The vibrant colors, the podunk town that is clearly getting money from somewhere, Trent’s entire backstory … it all felt extremely cheerful. And not bad.
3. Where did Washington hide this voice ?! If you happened to see the former scandal star performing “Joy to the World” during ABC’s Disney Holiday Singalong, you probably wouldn’t have been surprised by Washington’s impressive whistles. So this is for everyone else: “What the what ?!” Seriously, they should have written a new song just for them, term damn it. (Honorable Mention to Key, whose last name matches his beautiful singing voice perfectly.)
4. How long did it take you to find out that the first prom was a fake? Seriously, what did it tell you? Was it when they got to the real dance and it didn’t look like a high school? Or was it when Emma’s truck was clearly the only vehicle in the parking lot? In either case, it took these characters far too long to put the pieces together. How one of them even manages to get out of bed in the morning without harming himself is a mystery to us.
5. Have we had enough of Emma? We’re just going to tell – the story focuses too much on the Broadway actors and not enough on Emma and Alyssa’s relationship. Even after multiple viewing, it seems like they have the same screen time as their bullies. Let’s talk about these idiots for a second …
6. How are we supposed to feel about all these homophobic teenagers? We understand they end up changing their way, but we’ve been exposed to so many musical numbers involving Emma’s happy-go-lucky bullies – from the suggestions to the dance itself and beyond – that I have to ask: Should we do that? are you interested? And in a similar context …
7. For a city full of angry homophobes, weren’t there surprisingly many well choreographed musical numbers? Just saying.
8. How did anyone know Emma wanted to take a girl to prom? Maybe things have changed since we went to high school [mumble] Years ago, but we weren’t asked who we were taking as our date when we bought our prom tickets. And when you asked Emma what did she say? Your secret girlfriend?
9. Does the PTA really have that much power? Or some power, really? Parents, please correct me if I’m wrong, but does the PTA head usually go around like they are the mayor of the city? In her defense, Washington technically owns every room she stands in, but I’m talking about real life. Once.
10. Most importantly, this actually happened ?! The prom is loosely based on the story of Constance McMillen, a Mississippi student who fought for prom with her friend in 2010. In response to their bravery, several celebrities – including Lance Bass and Green Day – have signed up to hold a prom for everyone. Isn’t it wild (and heartbreaking) to believe that this was only 10 years ago?
OK, it’s your turn to talk: what do you think of The Prom? And what burning questions (rhetorical or otherwise) would you add to our list? Rate the movie and leave your comment below.