What does the finale of Ryan Murphy’s newest musical comedy, The Prom, mean? The Prom is a touching narrative about self-love, inclusiveness, and acceptance, based on the Tony-nominated musical of the same name. It centers around high school student Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman), a proud lesbian who is denied the chance to attend prom purely because of her sexual preferences.
After hitting rock bottom in their careers, Broadway stars Dee Dee (Meryl Streep), Barry (James Corden), and Angie (Nicole Kidman) resolve to rebrand themselves by associating their names with a good cause. The motley gang chooses to fly to Edgewater, Indiana for PR purposes after hearing about Emma’s injustice, which is greeted with great hostility by the PTA, resulting in the cancellation of prom entirely. Emma finds herself on the receiving end of targeted ostracization as a result of the celebrity intervention, and she struggles to regain her footing in a society that appears all-too-cruel.
Netflix now has The Prom accessible for streaming. Watch the trailer below
The Prom: A Review of Celebrity Culture’s
While The Prom is mostly about Emma, the Broadway stars steal the show, frequently breaking into song with heightened zeal and flair. The Prom begins with Dee Dee and Barry performing in Eleanor, a new Broadway production in which their performances are panned by critics, resulting in the show’s failure on opening night.
Extreme selfishness, which both Dee Dee and Barry see as an important component of their famous personalities, is blamed for their failure. The Broadway stars take steps toward unlearning years of superstar ego and recognizing the virtue of unselfish generosity devoid of vested interests throughout the story.
In some ways, The Prom is a critique of celebrity culture’s excesses, which are frequently fueled by narcissistic self-entitlement. This is best demonstrated by Dee Dee, a former Broadway star whose actions come out as false and shallow, such as when she brandishes her trophies, which she keeps in her handbag, to demand a room and spa treatment at a hotel in Edgewater.
Dee Dee, on the other hand, experiences a change after watching Emma’s painful journey, and in the sobering presence of high school principal and love interest Mr. Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key), she gradually learns to put the interests of others above her own. While these elements of the story certainly touch on celebrity vapidity, the trope gets lost somewhere along the road and eventually fades away.
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The Prom: Partially Based on True Story
The Prom’s Broadway staging isn’t based on a single narrative. Instead, it was “inspired by multiple episodes involving this type of bigotry and exclusion, all swirling around the prom,” according to playwright Bob Martin, who co-wrote the Broadway book and the film’s script. The most famous example occurred in 2010, when Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss., refused to allow high school senior Constance McMillen and her girlfriend to attend the prom together. McMillen was also informed that she would not be allowed to wear a tuxedo to the event, and that only male students would be allowed to do so.
The school board decided to cancel prom entirely when McMillen fought back and enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU responded by filing a lawsuit against the school district. “All I wanted was to have the same opportunity to enjoy my prom night as any other student,” McMillen said in a statement released by the ACLU. “However, my school would rather harm all pupils than treat them equally.” While the movie’s depiction of bullying peers may appear cartoonish, McMillen’s classmates truly blamed her for ruining their enjoyment; one girl wore a short that read, “Thanks, Constance, for ruining prom,” according to Glamour’s Women of the Year write-up on McMillen.
The Prom: How the Show Ended?
The Prom concludes with Emma’s own prom, which is an open environment that welcomes anyone. Some of Emma’s classmates apologize for making her feel targeted and alone, and the Broadway stars selflessly donate their depleting funds to help arrange it. Mrs. Greene interrupts the festivities by requesting that the second prom be cancelled. However, it is at this point that her daughter, Alysson, comes out to her mother and declares her love for Emma. Mrs. Greene is completely shaken by this, and she is unable to accept her daughter for who she is. On the night of the prom, a large number of LGBTQ people attend and dance to their hearts’ content.
Mrs. Greene appears at the prom to express her support, and Emma and Alyssa are finally able to kiss and dance together in front of the world. While the conclusion is nice for all of the characters, it comes off as overly simple, given how fragmented today’s political environment is. The painful fact is that the LGBTQ community must struggle for survival, acceptance, and respect at every point in their life. Despite this, The Prom closes with a ray of hope for everybody concerned, promising happiness to those who strive for what is right.
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The Prom: Why the Show Focused on Emma?
While The Prom spends a lot of time diving into Dee and Barry’s personal lives, Emma remains the emotional heart of the story, since it is her fearless presence that gives the film its realism. Emma has endured adversity since she was a child, when she was kicked out of her family after coming out to her parents, and she has proven to be incredibly tough in the face of adversity. Angie becomes a consistent, calming presence in Emma’s life, giving sisterly counsel and encouragement when she needs it most, and encouraging her to share her experience with the world because it is the right thing to do.
Although the Broadway artists go out of their way to aid Emma in the end, Emma is self-sufficient in a true and refreshing sense, particularly when she chooses to convey her tale in her own words by posting a video of herself singing “Unruly Heart” to YouTube. This film provides much-needed optimism and encouragement to LGBTQ individuals all around the world, who view Emma as a reflection of their own goals, fears, and dreams, and find acceptance at the prom she throws at the conclusion. Emma has shown incredible bravery in owning her narrative and creating a safe environment for those who need it most.
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