What starts out as an all-too-formulaic teen romantic comedy settles into a acceptably recipe-driven think piece on the significance of that milestone social gathering known as "the prom." Seemingly every boy at Brookside High School has the same idea about how to ask his intended date to the upcoming "Starry Night Prom." They spell out "PROM?" in giant letters in a public place and wait patiently for the object of their heart's desire to notice it and answer (in the affirmative, natch).
It doesn't hurt that modern-day youthful versions of John Cusack, Johnny Depp and Ralph Macchio are in attendance. Nolan Sotillo favors Macchio's "Karate Kid" days as Lucas, an all-American boy on the verge of playing varsity football. Lucas has it bad for his romantic classmate Simone (Danielle Campbell). Sadly for Lucas, Simone still has feelings for varsity quarterback Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon). Thomas McDonell falls into the Johnny Depp look-alike camp as brooding bad boy Jesse.
Fate brings cynical loner Jesse into a school-mandated assignment to help prom-planner Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden) rebuild a prom set destroyed by fire. Shock: embers of desire ignite.
Nicholas Braun fills the John Cusack spot (during Cusack's "Say Anything" period) as Lloyd Taylor, a good-looking, well-mannered kid who can't get a date.
Every predictable plot point is underlined twice with sincere emotion. Did I mention this isn't novel or original? It doesn't matter. Teen movies like "Prom" are made to let kids know they're not alone in the whirlwind of events and moods they are going through. To that end, "Prom" plays every heartstring like a well-worn melody—a tune that is, after all, classic for a reason.
Rated PG. 103 mins.
Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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