Review of Netflix’s Newest Musical, “The Prom”

Amidst the usual holiday movies, Netflix released a two-hour-long musical where Meryl Streep and James Corden take on an Indiana town in a battle for acceptance. These two are the only ones who can convince this community to welcome back a teen they ostracized. (Photo courtesy of Savannah Sinor).

On December 11, a week after its theater debut, The Prom appeared on Netflix. 

Overview of the Musical

In this movie, four less-than-popular Broadway stars and a publicist help out a struggling teen in an attempt to gain some good publicity. Barry Glickman (James Corden), Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep), and their two friends Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) and Trent Oliver (Andrew Rennells) travel to Edgewater, Indiana with their publicist, Sheldon Saperstein (Kevin Chamberlin). 

Here, they team up with Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) and her principal, Mr. Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key). Together they all fight to help Emma go to prom with her girlfriend. 

The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), along with the rest of this town, are the culprits. They try to keep Emma and any other LGBTQ+ teens from attending the dance. From legal battles to bullying, this community stops at nothing to keep her away.

These stars attempt to help, but their selfish motives hold them back and keep them from helping Emma. They can only make a difference after they realize that the world does not revolve around them.

Through song and dance, they figure out what it means to be selfless and kind. While they struggle, Emma figures out that she has to do things her way, and she regains some confidence. 


This musical has well-developed characters and brilliantly choreographed songs. 

The characters undergo a lot of stress, and it makes them change into different, better people. Barry faces his past. Dee Dee attempts to be selfless. Emma finds her inner strength. By confronting their issues, these main characters transform into stronger and kinder individuals.

This believable character development improves the musical, making it more enjoyable to watch. Many TV shows and movies have characters that experience an unreasonable amount of change, but “The Prom” is not one of them. 

Another entertaining aspect of the musical was its songs and choreography. The lyrics are creative, and the music is excellent. Each song is fantastic on its own, but it is even better when the whole soundtrack is together. They bring the characters to life. Without them, this musical would have been subpar at best.

The dancing that goes along with the songs is well-rehearsed and expertly arranged. Little mistakes can be distracting, but the actors in “The Prom” made no mistakes while performing their routines.

Overall this musical was pretty good content-wise, but some other aspects were lacking.

Though the music was great, the dialogue was mediocre. The conversations between the characters felt stilted and lacked intrigue. This story could have been great if the script was better. Even though this movie is a musical, the songs should not have to carry it. The dialogue needs to be interesting.

The casting of James Corden as Barry Glickman, a gay Broadway star, was also disappointing. Corden’s portrayal of Glickman included far too many stereotypes. As a major production, this error is unexpected. In these types of productions, the writers, directors, and editors all have a part in the final version and are responsible for fixing these issues.

In its entirety, The Prom is a lovely musical, but it has a lot of room for improvement.


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