The Prom is an upcoming musical comedy and is a cinematic adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. Boasting a star-studded cast, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, and Andrew Rannells, it is set to be released on December 11, 2020, on Netflix. Set mostly in Indiana, the story follows a bunch of failed Broadway actors as they take up a cause far greater than themselves. Featuring a blend of comedy, drama, great music, and above all, an underlying social message- Ryan Murphy’s The Prom is shaping up to be a heart-warming, definite watch if musicals are your thing.
The Broadway play follows Indiana high-school student Emma who is at standstill with a crisis. All she wants is a regular prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa. Despite initial support, the PTA head- who is also Alyssa’s mother, bans them from attending. What follows is a potpourri of emotions and extravagance. The Broadway stars eventually let go of their egos and devote themselves to organizing a memorable prom for all of Indiana.
The story and what it tells us
The Broadway play is fun and extravagant- but more importantly, it has something to say, something to stand for. It is a story that we, in many ways, need to hear. Queer representation of all kinds is of paramount importance. Queer-ness, just like most other identities, is not a “one size fits all”. To see oneself represented in a queer narrative can be a milestone in coming to terms with one’s identity. Above all, societal issues linked to gender and sexuality are often perceived to be concepts far too mature to be discussed with kids.
On the contrary, normalizing a spectrum of identities from the get-go is the only path to an inclusive world. And, that is precisely what the play does. By bringing high school kids and their stories into the picture, this queer coming-of-age story aims for two birds with one stone. Firstly, it creates a narrative that queer youth, closeted and open alike, can identify by.
Secondly, by showcasing the innocence of young love, it encourages conversation around acceptance and normalization. Perhaps, the hallmark of it all is the joy that is inbuilt into the arc- the joy of being able to help out and the joy of being able to be one’s authentic self. And, that is precisely why The Prom is a truly heart-warming, definite watch. My favorite track from the play says it all- music blares and no one cares who your unruly heart loves…