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Prom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) - Blu-ray / kids and family DVD / Disney DVD review
PROM (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO) Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonnell, Yin Chang, Danielle Campbell, Nicholas Braun
Director: Joe Nussbaum Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
DVD release: 30 August 2011 Runtime: 104 min.
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), "Last Chance Lloyd" (Blu-ray exclusive short), Putting on Prom making-of featurette, Deleted Scenes, Music Videos, Bloopers, Trailers

*Prom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)* John Hughes it ain't, but the makers of PROM definitely know their audience - and their studio. This is less Sixteen Candles, more High School Musical (minus the singing and dancing and with the blinding sunniness turned down to tolerable levels), and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Teens may not embrace it (although leading man Thomas McDonell's handsome mug and rippling biceps are pretty irresistible), but tweens and middle-schoolers who have yet to taste the full range of social anxiety that permeates the real high school experience will eat it up.

Overachiever and perennial optimist Nova Prescott (Friday Night Lights and Scream 4's Aimee Teegarden) is determined to make this year's prom ("It doesn't matter who you've been for four years; we're all the same at prom," she gushes) the best her Michigan high school has ever seen. With just weeks left to go, she and the rest of the prom committee have just about dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. The big night is going to be positively spectacular.

*Prom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*The senior boys are (mostly) outdoing each other with creative and romantic methods of popping the "Prom?" question; the girls are (mostly) diving into picking out dresses and dozens of other bubbly details. Of course, some of the guys - like awkward Lloyd Taylor (TV's 10 Things I Hate About You), who's made almost zero impression on anyone over the last four years - are finding it tough to land a date. Some of the girls, including Nova, are having to wait longer than they'd like for their preferred escort to just ask them, already. When Nova's head-of-the-class counterpart and prom committee co-chair, Brandon, does finally remind her to save the date, it's more a matter of pragmatism than romance.

*Prom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*Then disaster strikes. An accidental fire burns down the shed where all the decorations are stored, and Nova has mere weeks to pull this thing together from scratch. None of the other committee members are available to put in the overtime effort, so the principal kills two birds with one stone: he forces loner rebel Jesse Richter (McDonell) to help Nova with whatever she needs to reassemble the soiree, which doubles as extra punishment for the kid who's been a thorn in the principal's side for four years.

*Prom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*As the two opposites predictably begin to attract, other relationship dramas are unfolding. Mei Kwan (Yin Chang of Gossip Girls) has herself tied up in knots with her inability to tell her longtime boyfriend (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) that she's been accepted to Parsons design school in New York since he's planning on both of them attending Michigan. The money is on power couple Jordan (Kylie Bunbury) and lacrosse star Tyler (DeVaughn Nixon of Sonny with a Chance) to be crowned king and queen on prom night, but she rightly suspects him of cheating on her.

Underclassmen are caught up in the mood of the season, too. Sweet sophomore Lucas risks alienating his geeky bestie, Corey, in his nervous pursuit of his gorgeous lab partner, Simone (Danielle Campbell, Prison Break). Outgoing freshman Tess (the ever-amusing Raini Rodriguez), meanwhile, is tirelessly trying to help big brother Lloyd nail down a date.

Occasional cute scene effects (such as Nova and Jesse being chased by a janitor through another high school they sneak into to spy on their prom setup, which is presented in a Scooby Doo-style triptych a la Hughes's The Breakfast Club) and a warm, not over-sharp picture mark the ascendancy of the movie's visual aspect over its adequate-enough audio; the soundtrack songs get a better sound treatment, and the music is actually pretty decent to this indie-lovin' mom's ears.

All in all, Prom is a strawberry sorbet of a movie: light, sweet, something the whole family can enjoy - just not a life-changer.
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reviewed by Sharon Schulz-Elsing
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