High school movies have a checklist and that checklist almost always ends with a "Prom Night" scene. Anything can happen on prom night -- especially with a multi-million dollar budget. My sources indicate a teen movie called Prom came out this weekend that stripped the high school movie genre bare, focusing primarily on building to the climax of the film, Prom. Bravo! So now is as good a time as any to go over the top four things that only happen at movie proms. Enjoy the punch, it's spiked.
1. Character Revelations
In every movie prom, something is revealed about our lead characters or our lead character makes a character discovery. For example, George McFly is Lorraine's destiny. I don't remember my prom being such a life-changing affair. I just remember a lot of Montell Jordan and TLC.
2. Cool Prom Band/Lead Character Grabs the Mic
Where do all these movie proms get all of their cool bands? We did just dandy with a nice DJ. You know, two turn tables and a microphone? But all movie proms come with these perfectly white bread stage bands that apparently every single kid at the prom is cool with hearing all night (seriously, how much ska can a young man take?) And do you want to know why movie proms force these stage bands on us? Because it gives our hero the perfect opportunity to grab the microphone and get all jiggy with it, eventually winning over the girl of his dreams by way of song.
3. Punch Gets Spiked/Drunk Kid Figures Into Emotional Hijinks
They only universe where they continue to serve punch at proms is in the movies. Movie schools are the only schools in America left that are still dumb enough to serve punch so some lovable troublemaker can drop some of grandpa's cough syrup into the bowl which naturally leads to another character getting wasted and revealing truths in their inebriated state.
4. Dramatic Showdowns
Everything comes to a head at a movie prom. Friends realize they've been jerks all along and only for the first time in the entire movie begin to question their own stupidity leading to an apology to another lead character. Geeks get the girl, bullies lose the girl and sometimes the bully even gets punched out by said geek (who has now become super geek). Sometimes the geek isn't a geek. Sometimes the geek is actually a social outcast or a rugged teen of international mystery who has few words in his vocabulary and is undoubtedly misunderstood. He is a gentler, more artistic soul than anyone could have imagined... except maybe the movie audience who always saw his more charming attributes! Sometimes, the prom is just the arena where the kids get to cut loose and dance freely amidst an otherwise puritanical town of humorless, god-fearing folk.
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Dre writes for Film.com weekly.