Review: Netflix’s prom is a fun fantasy to deal with petty so-called extremists

Review: Netflix's prom is a fun fantasy to deal with petty so-called extremists

Ryan Murphy’s new Broadway Music 2018 new Netflix adaptation Prof. Have a lot to live for. The music received excellent listeners and critical acclaim On its little race, As well as seven Tony nominations. And while it didn’t really win anything, its glowing tongue-in-cheek showbiz narrative in which two girlfriends were fighting to join their high school prom, made it a poet for Murphy’s small screen milieu. Made the perfect bait to mix stories into music and camp.

On Netflix, Prof. Broadway’s cast of veteran actors traded A-listers across the board, with Meryl Streep and James Cordon Bujingapa connecting Broadway Day to social activism. Their attention? A small Indiana high school, where a civil rights fight on prom night leads to a horrific moment of violence in a small town – based on an equally ugly true story.

Prof.The solution to the deeply complex problem of American bigotry is to do theater. The effect is partly a romantic display of optimism wrapped in a love letter to Broadway, and partly a gesture of sympathy for anyone who has grown up as a small town. Oh, and it’s also a musical comedy in the sense of classic singing / dancing / jokes.

When I was not sold on this concept Prof. Started on stage because it felt so easy, old and potentially exploitative. And I had my doubts about whether Murphy would be able to pursue the show more successfully. Recognize that with its over-the-top Broadway fantasy. But while the film has made very few changes to the stage version, the small screen treatment works well with the blessings: the joke lands, the cast is fantastic, the score is still impressive, and the show’s fans have little to complain about. Will get.

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A small town’s anger over gay rights suddenly becomes a mediator of mistakes when Broadway stars arrive

Oh, my God, this is it Merrell.
Netflix

Our story unfolds in the midst of a twofold crisis. At James Madison High, the local PTA, led by an angry mom (Kerry Washington), has just voted to cancel the Spring Prom at the request of a student to join in the dance with his girlfriend. The principal (Keegan-Michael Key) has promised to sue the courts over the PTA’s decision, following the highly publicized nationwide talent of the student herself, Emma (newcomer Joe Alan Pelman), as you might expect. Will) Happy).

In New York, meanwhile, a group of self-absorbed theater veterans (Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells) are facing their own crisis – a flood of bad reviews. Newlyweds, they decide to start performing social activities to please the critics themselves. Their reason is that Salbrab, chosen at random, is looking for Emma to go on a prom with a girl.

City slippers immediately travel to Indiana and wander into the undeclared state with loud and good messages of intolerance. “There will be banners! And Choreography”! Cordon’s Barry, himself a gay Midwestern transplanter, announces. LuPone-ish Diva De Dee Allen intones, “I read three-quarters of a story and I knew I had to come,” and the whole hell breaks down.

Initially, the theater trap only makes things worse, and the film feels comfortable immersing itself in a few more fantasies of small-town life, such as presenting our heroes with an unappreciated song about tolerance at a monster truck rally. But the biggest complication is near home: Emma’s girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana Debos), is the exact opposite of Emma herself. In fact, she is one of the most popular girls – and the real daughter of a PTA mother. (Before the controversy, Elisa’s intention was to preach together.)

And while our Broadway stars are having their own moments of growth and change as they begin to truly support Emma, ​​Alyssa will have to decide if she’s ready to come out and pursue her city hobby. The whole risk is at stake. This stress ends in a sentence The moment of complete hatred, when the town finally allows Emma to keep her prom – but at an ugly price.

Prof. Self-aware of your own childhood imagination – but it’s not always an easy sale

When I saw Prof. In the 2018 previews, I felt like the only Buzzkill in another puzzle crowd. It was clear that the show was already loved by its audience, which deliberately embraced its Sorkin-Esk liberal survival and its deliberate approach to the ideological war in the land of the American heart.

But for me, arrogance was not very grounded. The two narratives, a narcissistic but well-meaning showbiz veteran attacking the old age of social justice, and another deep-seated small-town fanaticism, do not fit perfectly, and are romantic rather than showy. They seemed naive. It was an American version that felt teleported without a lot of updates from the ’90s; Hell A heartbreaking true story That Prof. Based on myself was about 10 years old.

Also, as an older child who lived well in Indiana for many years A very gay-friendly place in the country, I bristled Prof.Continuous treatment of the state, and largely “flyover status” by proxy, as a general rule. While the whole show is an ironic message of complex white liberalism, it also openly embraces its own white liberal notion of tolerance. The low point in this regard comes when a New Yorker, Trent (Reynolds, watching the leader of the youth group of a completely rejected church), accepts and turns a group of unprecedentedly complex teenagers into love. Is, simply by singing a Latin. Hypocritical biblical injunctions This is the kind of argument that only centralist democrats who receive their political arguments West Wing Believe that the Bible belt actually works on church goers; But miraculously, by the way, inside Pro, It works faster than levitics.

Nevertheless, the performance is very clear Knows It’s a surviving fantasy – and it’s evident in the Netflix compatibility, which sharpens its satirical points and gives the key gift with a small but heartfelt song that screams. Prof.There is self-awareness about using theater as an ideal form of reality. It helps that, as the Broadway epidemic closes, Prof.Describing New York as a shining mecca of endurance is as much a dream come true as everything else about it. The movie allows us to dream big, far away from one place, impossible far away in this situation, even if it’s just Manhattan.

Murphy has always had a flair for integration camps and pathos, and is well used here. The closest thing to the first act, “Tonight is with me,” is an exciting screaming ensemble dance number and a scary show, as it is a great revelation of Emma’s punishment, courtesy of the entire student body and her parents. . This moment, which made me feel very bright and radiant to fully express the emotional impact of the town’s brutality, plays better here, minimizing the pain on Pelman’s face.

Other moments on the Broadway show also play better on screen, although they lose the opposite scale. The most notable of these is “Ladies Improving,” the show stop of the second act, which delivers a lot of pizzas without becoming a viral strip. This is a highlight of the score that is often slapped, although the lyrics represent a lot of clear scenes.

The whole story I had serious concerns about the decision to sample, and still do Actually The incident of small town extremism, which resulted in the student finally winning the lawsuit against the school district – after fleeing. It all feels so much easier than real life. Emma is having a lot of trouble – like so many ugly kids, she has to get out of her house when she gets out. Given and the town makes him a scapegoat for his intolerance of PTA. But the ease of the bright eyes and the hidden courage with which she endures it, even sharing her shared experiences of loneliness with Barry, makes her feel one-sided. The story emphasizes that It is better Every struggle has its ups and downs, but complex challenges are much more difficult for today’s teenagers (and completely absent transgender people) to face.

Still, Prof. Clearly it was not intended to be a profound book on the subject; This is it A musical comedy, after all. Instead, it presents itself as a celebration of optimism and humanity that still thrives in such small towns – despite the suggestion that those of us who can do so find a way to a much better place. But if it feels funny, Prof. Against the backdrop of local hotspots there is still all the enchanting magic of singing and dancing. If the common ground can be found through an overblown dance break at a Cinebon or a quiet song by a local applause, the film suggests, it can probably be found anywhere.

We call it Footloose Philosophy of American politics. It’s a patchy, incompetent form of resistance, but it’s definitely fun.

Prof. Streaming on Netflix.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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