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The Prom

December 11, 2020 | Netflix | 130 minutes
Directed by: Ryan Murphy | Written by: Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin | Cinematography: Matthew Libatique | Editing: Peggy Tachdjian, Danielle Wang | Costume Design: Lou Eyrich | Set Design: Jamie Walker McCall | Music: David Klotz, Matthew Sklar
In small-town Edgewater, Indiana, high school student Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) has been banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). When a couple of Broadway stars, Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden), whose careers have been flatlined after a recent high profile flop, read about Emma's fate on Twitter, they see their chance for much-needed positive publicity. They hit the road with another pair of cynical actors (Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells) looking for a professional lift. But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome find their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.
Cast: Meryl Streep (Dee Dee Allen), James Corden (Barry Glickman), Nicole Kidman (Angie Dickinson), Andrew Rannells (Trent Oliver), Kerry Washington (Mrs. Greene), Keegan-Michael Key (Mr. Hawkins), Kevin Chamberlin (Sheldon Saperstein), Jo Ellen Pellman (Emma Nolan), Tracey Ullman (Vera), Ariana DeBose (Alyssa Greene), Logan Riley (Kaylee), Nico Greetham (Nick Boomer), Mary Kay Place (Emma's grandmother)

Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman head the cast of Ryan Murphy’s Netflix version of the musical about Broadway narcissists championing the right of an Indiana lesbian to take her girlfriend to the school dance. Streep is in delectable form in The Prom as Dee Dee Allen, a Tony-winning stage diva who must unlearn years of celebrity self-absorption and take the unfamiliar step of putting other people’s needs first. Whenever she’s center-screen, this Netflix adaptation of the disarming 2018 Broadway musical sparkles with campy humor. Elsewhere, the starry casting and heavy hand of director Ryan Murphy do the featherweight material few favors, with inert dramatic scenes and overblown musical numbers contributing to the general bloat. The movie’s most undeniable value is in the representation it provides to LGBTQ teens via a high school dance that is every emotionally isolated queer kid’s rainbow dream, as described by The Hollywood Reporter in their review.

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