The Disney film Prom is exactly what you would expect from the studio known for its parade of princesses: sweet, candy-colored, and completely wholesome. Aimee Teegarden stars as Nova, the typical overachieving student who is at the top of her senior class and heading up the prom committee. She has tasked herself with ensuring that the prom is a perfect night for everyone, believing that it can somehow right all the wrongs for any student who's had a less-than-ideal high school experience. When an accident destroys the prom decor she has worked so hard on, the principal assigns the school's resident slacker, Jesse (Thomas McDonell), to help her, much to Nova's chagrin.
The prom is the linchpin for several other student storylines as well: one long-term couple breaks up just before the big night, one girl dreads the event because she's worried about telling her boyfriend that she won't be going to the same college as him after graduation, a younger couple is brought together, and one hapless character can't find a date to save his life. All of these stories make Prom at once feel like you never really get to know anyone (or care), but it also makes the film easily digestible. To find out what I liked about Prom, just
The one storyline you can get invested in is the opposites-attract relationship of Jesse and Nova. Though Jesse is the archetypal bad boy, you know that it's only a matter of time before those after-school decoration meetings lead to something more. It's a romantic formula we've seen time and again, yet the charm of Teegarden and McDonell makes it delightful. The burgeoning attraction between Jesse and Nova is totally innocent, as are all the other romantic entanglements. Everyone's problems are as benign as they can be, the shell of real teenage problems. Realistic? No. It's a sugarcoated version of high school.
This prom itself is the most innocuous of all time — American Pie this isn't. It's really aimed at kids who aren't in high school yet, as a lofty fantasy of what's to come. Still, it arouses nostalgia in anyone who went to their prom, and by the time Jesse and Nova finally get to take a spin on the dance floor, you're happy to see them get their perfect, PG kiss.