If you're hungry for more singing and dancing after last week's Late Late Toy Show, then you'll be fit to burst with The Prom, a Broadway adaptation that celebrates inclusivity, skewers celebrity and sees Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy giving fans the next best thing to a reboot. Maybe one of the tunes will feature in next year's Toy Show - they're good enough.
It's the story of two New York luvvies (Meryl Streep and James Corden), a chorus line habitué (Nicole Kidman) and a sitcom star-turned-barman (Andrew Rannells) desperately seeking "some little injustice" - within driving distance - to revive their flagging careers. Fate steers them to smalltown Indiana, where a student's (JoEllen Pellman) dream of bringing her girlfriend to the The Prom has been crushed by the Parents' Association. It all sounds like the best of in-and-out photo opps, but the four thesps end up getting a lot more than a gig when they decide to stick around.
As imagined, Streep and Corden make for a great double act, but really Murphy hasn't put a foot wrong anywhere with his casting - as big-hearted a bunch as any that you'll watch between now and 1 January. Thanks to its Netflix arrival on 11 December, The Prom's message will be delivered to many places where a cinema release was never going to be a runner, and the world will seem a little less lonely as a result.
Indeed, behind the jazz hands and japes, The Prom does a fine job at exploring the emotional toll and unfinished business of isolation. All the characters here are missing someone, or something, so everything on screen chimes perfectly with this time of year. Two hours-plus pushes the running time a little more than necessary, but the peace, love and goodwill generated along the way will remain intact long after the closing credits.
Everyone we meet is in the great war of their lives. This is a tonic for the troops. Cheers!
The Prom is in cinemas from 4 December and on Netflix from 11 December.
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