The Prom – The Meryl Streep Starrer from Netflix Is Making Waves



Save the date: 11th December 2020. That’s when the whole world is going to be part of an exceptional Prom that brings together the talents of James Corden, Kerry Washington, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, and cinema royalty Meryl Streep.


The Story

The movie is pretty straightforward, after all who doesn’t know what a prom is. The music and performances are probably going to be the star focus, intended to carrying the message across to audiences.


The message being that you can be more than who you are, if you simply believe in yourself and not what others tell you about who you are meant to be, what you should eat, what you should wear, whom you should date, and whether or not you’re invited to the prom.


The protagonist of this forward-thinking film is a high school student called Emma Nolan, played by Jo Ellen Pellman. The major twist arrives when we learn that Emma wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.


In this day and age when all sorts of rights and equalities are being demanded, the simple request for a girl to take a female date to the prom is met with resistance in the movie, the same movie in which she is supported to be herself.


“The Prom” is based on the actual 2018 stage-play musical production after the same name. Matthew Sklar brought the music for that one, and he scored the Netfllix version too. We have Chad Beguelin providing the lyrics. The stage version boasts original concept by Jack Viertel, and has a book based on it by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin. The latter two have also written the screenplay for “The Prom” (2020) for Netflix. Matthew Libatique is in the cinematographer seat.



The Music


The first song so far released is “Tonight Belongs To You” from the lyrical mastery of Chad Beguelin and music from the brilliant Matthew Sklar. Sony Music Masterworks shared this first single from the film on 30th October 2020, and everyone seems to have it on loop ever since.



Several key members of the cast join in the ditty sung by Jo Ellen Pellman, James Corden, and Kerry Washington. Granted, it’s quite ‘showtunes’ at its core, but the words and composition are certain to make you get up on your feet and dance.


Netflix has promised that the full soundtrack will be released later this year, preceding the movie’s grand online release. This film is the first one under the $300 million deal that Ryan Murphy has signed with Netflix.



The Roles


“The Prom” is not just a campy feel-good film. There are some serious real-life conflicts being played out, especially pertaining to the LGBTQ angle.


Then we have fictional Broadway stars Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, played by Meryl Streep and James Corden respectively. And two cynical actors Angie Dickinson and Trent Oliver, played by Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells.


The movie sees Dee Dee and Barry’s most recent big-budget Broadway show meeting with a big-bad flop. Fearing a career flatline, Dee Dee and Barry wish to tap into the publicity that will most certainly follow a lesbian student taking her girlfriend to the prom. The two fictional actors, Angie and Trent, are along for the ride because they too are in desperate need for a ‘professional lift’.


Hearing about her ‘situation’, the stars swoop in vulture-style and design an entire plan with Broadway themes at the heart of it. All to ‘help’ Emma Nolan and Alyssa Greene live their dream.


James Corden is no stranger to Broadway. Keegan-Michael Key will be playing the school principal. Awkwafina was first cast to slip into the role of publicist Ms. Sheldon. However, some scheduling conflicts led to her being replaced with Kevin Chamberlin, who’ll be playing the stage-production-original Sheldon Saperstein.


Ariana Grande fans, get ready to sigh, because your beloved singer was originally cast to play Alyssa Greene, who’s the next most important character in this movie. Alyssa’s character is Emma Nolan’s girlfriend, the one she wants to take to the prom. Being a closeted cheerleader is certainly going to make her story stand out.


However, between Ariana Grande’s scheduling conflicts due to her Sweetener World Tour and Netflix’s own plans to get “The Prom” out on time, the film has cast Ariana DeBose as Alyssa Greene.


Kerry Washington is in the uneviable but crucial role of ‘bad guy’, playing PTA head Mrs. Greene who stands opposed to Emma and Alyssa’s ‘lifestyle’ and their need to be free, free enough to at least go to the prom without so much fuss and bother being made about it. Things are sure to heat up, seeing as how Kerry is playing Alyssa’s mother.



The Message


Director Ryan Murphy is geared up to helm this musical extravaganza that comes carrying a crucial message. The message is simple. Allow us to put it in our own words… In this cruel and fast-paced world, loving anything or anyone is by itself a challenge, let alone being made to suffer for choosing whom to love. 


The film looks like it is going to bring a good dose of cry-worthy moments, and some eccentric ones too seeing as how certain misguided ‘stars’ are going to be running the show. The characters’ celebrity activism is not going to go as smoothly as expected, even with Meryl Streep leading the way. Side note: we worship you, Meryl.


Below is the official poster for the movie, and it looks lit indeed.



A post shared by ENTOIN (@meet_entoin)



As recently as 2017, Ryan Murphy spearheaded the ‘Half’ initiative, which advocated for more inclusivity in Hollywood.

According to Deadline, “His goal: to give women, minorities and LGBTQ people a foot in the door of a world that has been next to impossible to crack.”


A charity performance of “The Prom”, namely the stage musical, was held in April 2019 (at Longacre Theatre, New York) during which time Murphy revealed his intention to adapt the musical for Netflix. “The Prom” from Ryan Murphy Productions is going to come out in select theatres before making its grand musical entry into streaming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *