Okay but am I a bad person for actually liking The Prom on Netflix?
James Corden this doesn’t include you
I really, really wanted to hate The Prom on Netflix. I’ll be honest: I’d read review after review, and was expecting watching The Prom to be just as “gruelling” as critics were saying. Couple that with the fact James Corden should never have been allowed to play a gay role, in this film or any other, I turned on Netflix with a large amount of trepidation. After 10 minutes I told my mates it was “absolutely horrible”, but after another 10? I was hooked.
If you ignore he-who-must-not-be-named, The Prom really is so good. Look, I know musicals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if that’s you please just move along: This film just wasn’t made for you. The songs actually slap, the cast are all incredible, and the film tells a story that’s important to so many people.
Here are all the reasons why The Prom on Netflix exceeded everyone’s expectations and is actually surprisingly good:
Warning: Obviously, some spoilers for The Prom ahead
It’s the perfect cross between a high school movie and a musical
You can’t tell me these aren’t the two best film genres of all time. High school movies have brought us Wild Child, John Tucker Must Die and Clueless, whilst musicals have given us the beauty of not one but two Mamma Mias – I don’t need to say anything else.
In The Prom, Netflix gives us the best possible mix between these two genres. The only other musical set in a high school I can think of is the High School Musical films, and they’re nothing short of sheer perfection, so of course The Prom would slap.
It’s the queer teen story I wish I’d had
A quick search on social media shows how many people were touched by the central story of The Prom, where a young girl named Emma is campaigning to be allowed to take her girlfriend as her date to their high school prom.
Growing up we had stories like Santana and Brittany in Glee, but a distinct lack of LGBT+ representation in the media just means there really aren’t many things that show two women happy and in love. Being able to see characters you can relate to is so important, and can have a massive impact on young people questioning their identity.
One Twitter user said The Prom was the “best lesbian romcom” they had “seen in a while”. Another spoke of how the story and representation “meant a lot” to her, saying: “Message to straights that are hating on The Prom: Maybe this story isn’t for you. Maybe if you only had a handful of movies that portrayed people like you, you wouldn’t be so critical. It meant a lot to me for Netflix to make a lesbian movie with a great cast.”
Jo Ellen Pellman, who plays Emma, has said she hopes the film “can be a two-hour break from all that’s happening in the world” for young LGBTQ+ people. Ariana DeBose, who plays Emma’s girlfriend Alyssa, has spoken about how she wanted to tell the stories of “young, beautiful brown girls who identify as queer”.
Brb listening to the soundtrack on repeat
It’s basically like if Glee were a film – which makes sense, because The Prom’s director Ryan Murphy was also behind Glee.
You’d expect the songs in The Prom to be good, as the Netflix film is adapted from a Broadway musical, and it really pulled through: They’re all absolute bops. The Prom and all its songs is just a healthy dose of cheesy fun – what more could you want?
The cast is actually insane
Even without mentioning a certain someone who definitely shouldn’t have been in the film (at points it was extremely hard to watch him – read this for why he shouldn’t have been part of it), the cast of The Prom is incredible. Meryl Streep is obviously the absolute queen of musicals, and after watching the film I’d genuinely sell my soul to have a heart-to-heart on the sofa over a tub of ice cream with Nicole Kidman.
As well as the famous faces though, many of the actors are Broadway legends, and although many of the younger cast haven’t been in much before, they’re also great in their own right.
It’s just feel-good fun
Ultimately, the whole film is just fun. It touches on some big topics which can help spark important conversations, and then (surprise!) there’s a happy ending and all is good in the world once more. I cried four times, including for the entirety of the last 10 minutes, but nevertheless still ended The Prom thinking it was a feel good watch.
It’s silly, cheesy and the costumes are seriously over the top – but 2020 has been a shit show, and maybe watching Nicole Kidman twirl around in a glittery green dress for two hours was exactly what we needed.
The Prom is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.