The mere word "prom" can either send people into convulsions of terror or starry-eyed excitement. It's either a magical memory or one that's stomach twisting and awful.
Disney's latest high school romp, "Prom," promises to play on all those emotions and memories. The trailer debuted on MySpace, and no matter what your prom experience is (or was), it's pretty magical stuff.
"Prom" follows a group of high schoolers as their stories intersect on the way to the big dance. They're a fairly standard group of kids that includes the blonde overachiever (Aimee Teegarden, "Friday Night Lights"), the girl with inner drama (Yin Chang, "Gossip Girl"), the geek, Lloyd (Nicholas Braun, "10 Things I Hate About You") and the bad boy (newcomer Thomas McDonnell).
The trailer takes them all through a string of love, heartbreak, excitement, secrets, disdain, dress shopping and tragedy. It taps into a major John Hughes spirit though, which may sell the movie beyond its target audience of tweens and teens.
Sure, this is familiar ground for a high school movie – especially because of its "Pretty in Pink" vibe – but it's also quite an experiment for Disney. After the staged world of their hugely successful "High School Musical" trilogy, Disney is keeping "Prom" firmly rooted in the real world. There even seems to be a documentary approach that allows the characters to break the fourth wall and confide directly to the audience. It's a fresh approach for Disney, and will come as a surprise to those looking (or hoping) for choreographed songs and dance.
One thing you will undoubtedly find in this trailer is Disney's next crop of stars. There are ample of pretty faces here, all of whom could break out into mega stardom, especially McDonnell. His brooding bad boy is the standout star of the trailer, which makes us suspect Zac Efron is going to have some new competition from the Mouse House. Where does Disney find these guys?
"Prom" is in theaters April 29, 2011.