By Rich Cline
As with High School Musical, Disney creates a vision of high school that will only appeal to pre-teens, as it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the real thing. Trite plots, cliched characters and simplistic moralising abound.
As prom night approaches, high-achieving event organiser Nova (Teegarden) is planning the perfect night of memories for the senior class. But her own plans are in jeopardy when she finds herself without a date and has to work with sexy bad boy Jesse (McDonell) to re-build the fire-damaged decorations for the event. Meanwhile, the jock (Nixon) is pursuing a sophomore (Campbell) who has a sweet admirer (Sotillo), and Nova's friend Mei (Chang) is nervous about telling her boyfriend (Kusnitz) that she wants to go away to university.
There are several other subplots gurgling around the edges, including a nice guy (Braun) who suffers through a series of embarrassing attempts to ask a girl to the prom and a gossip (Ortiz) who doesn't believe that the class clown (Adler) has a hot girlfriend in Canada. There's also a wronged girlfriend (Bunbury) and an ignored best pal (Monaghan), as well as a few concerned parents. But not one of these people resembles an actual teen, and even 8-year-olds will know where each plot is heading.
In fact, this film makes Glee look like a gritty documentary about the dark side of high school. Every plot point is telegraphed at least a half hour before it comes along, each character's personal journey involves discovering self-worth and inner confidence, and the villain of the piece is a guy who can't decide which girl he wants to date. Of course he's publicly humiliated at the end, even though he is probably more representative of adolescent emotions than anyone else on screen.
Everyone past puberty will recognise this film for the inane fantasy that it is; sadly, its target audience could grow up thinking that their own high school prom might actually be this amazing. They'll also expect to have these kinds of superficial relationships, perfect hair, super-fit bodies and no interest at all in sex. In other words, someone needs to stop Disney before they screw up yet another generation.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 29th April 2011
Box Office Worldwide: $10.1M
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 56
Cast & Crew