I'm obviously not the target demographic for Disney's Prom. Still, I'd like to think that, even if I were a teenage girl, I'd be smart enough to see this for the formulaic b.s. that it is.
Actually, I'd venture that Prom is aimed a little lower than actual teens -- more like tweens, who still have romantic visions of what it means to be grown up, i.e., in high school.
You'd have to be that young and naïve to be amused by the wan wit and obvious plotting of what, in another era, would barely be a TV movie on the Disney Channel (which is still where it belongs). This plot was old when it was being acted out by Annette Funicello and her contemporaries in the 1960s.
At the center of the film is Nova (Aimee Teegarden, a Friday Night Lights alumna), class president and chairman of the committee to organize the prom, which has taken "A Starry Night" as its theme (because, apparently, high school is when you discover the tortured genius of Vincent van Gogh).
Nova is a dish: cute, smart, funny, not too full of herself. Just one problem: She doesn't have a date for the prom. The one guy she likes, Brandon (Jonathan Keltz), seems semi-quasi-kinda-sorta interested in her. Or not: Since they're co-chairs of the prom, he suggests they go together "as friends."
Meanwhile, as prom approaches, Nova is saddled with a helper: a semi-delinquent classmate, Jesse Richter (Thomas McDonell). You know they're right for each other because she's scrubbed and virginal and he's dark, long-haired and threatening. And hunky -- just right for a Prince Charming makeover.
There are other subplots: One of Nova's friends can't work up the nerve to tell her long-time boyfriend that she wants to go to a different college in the fall. Then there's the other friend whose boyfriend is a star athlete who, it turns out, has been running around behind her back. And still more: The star athlete befriends a sophomore teammate in order to get next to the girl that the youngster is interested in.
Yes, I know, girls need this kind of princess-y tale the way boys need adventure stories; it's a rite of passage. So Prom seems relatively harmless; also, lifeless and pointless.