Prom Queen
Wolfe Video // Unrated // $24.95 // May 3, 2005
Review by Daniel W. Kelly | posted April 25, 2005
M O V I E
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:
Knowing this is a gay themed movie, and knowing the titles is Prom Queen, you may be misled to think it's either an over-the-top campy film, or a drag queen flick. It's not. It's actually an endearing, funny and moving Canadian movie about a gay boy who just wants to take his boyfriend to the prom—and it's based on a true story!

The Story:
When our movie starts, blue-haired Marc (Aaron Ashmore) wakes up dancing—and in the process, the vibrations knock the crucifix off his parents' wall. Marc's mother (Marie Tifo) is very religious, his dad (Jean-Pierre Bergeron) is a blue-collar worker, and Marc attends a Catholic high school. But things seem very liberal at his school. All his friends know he's gay, his teacher supports him and wants him to get a scholarship so he can get out of their town. But when Marc puts in a request to take his boyfriend Jason to his prom, his principal (Dave Foley) immediately rejects him. And so begins a movement by the kids in the school to get Marc to the prom. Before you know it, Marc is facing the Catholic school board, with his parents, including his father's union representative, behind him. A media hailstorm begins, Marc gets a lawyer, and his previously closeted boyfriend, Jason (Mac Fyfe), is kicked out of the closet on live TV, which causes trouble between the two boys as the case heads to the Supreme Court! At the same time, Marc's best friend, Carly (Tamara Hope) decides she will boycott the prom if Marc can't go, which concerns her boyfriend, who, along with his friends, is hoping to find a place to have sex with her on prom night. And, while standing fully beside their son, mother and father have to learn how to cope with so much attention being focused on their gay son.

Prom Queen was actually made for Canadian television, so it is—as it should be—a very discreet film. Rather than dwelling on the frustrating aspects of the real life situation, the creators did a smart thing, and made this an uplifting, positive film. At times, you feel like it's too simple, but then you remember miracles really do happen because this is based on a true story in which many people really WERE rallying behind Marc as he was singled out by the Catholic church. The film willingly admits that it is a fairy tale. Of course, there's a good deal of God against gays rhetoric and arguments from both sides that we've heard a million times before (trying to deny us of our right to have faith in God is getting really cliché by now), but it is a part of the story, so it has to be there. This is really light stuff, even silly sometimes, but it's all in fun. The side plots, including Carly's boyfriend's offer to a group of geeks that he'll find them dates for the prom if they start a "send Marc to the prom" site, falls a little flat. And then there are the three hot chicks who walk around school looking like Britney in the "Baby One More Time" video (hence the name "the Britneys"). They intentionally dowse themselves in makeup and hike their skirt uniforms higher to rebel, but serve little purpose or comic relief—although it's nice to see Makyla Smith, (Daphne on Queer as Folk) in the film since she's so rarely on that show anymore. Also, the relationship between Marc and Jason comes off pretty cold from the beginning, even before the troubles start, and it's never fully developed so that we feel they really care for each other. However, the performances are wonderful, making this a totally likeable cast (aside from the evil Catholics, of course). It also has a fun techno-dance soundtrack to keep the spirits high. This film is enjoyable for a gay audience, and more importantly, very accessible for straight audiences. It reminds us all of what it is like to be a teenager, to feel your world caving in around you—and to discover there really is a bright side.

The DVD

Video:
The film is in its original 1:33:1 full screen aspect ratio. The colors are rich and natural, with deep darks that make for clear detail and sharp images. The print is impressively clean.

Sound:
The 2.0 stereo offers clear dialogue, well balanced left/right separation, and perfect bass levels with no distortion.

Extras:
There are 8 chapters to select from, as well as a trailer for the film, and an option for closed caption. Other extras include:

TRUE STORY OF MARC HALL—this is an absolute MUST SEE. This is the real deal. You meet Marc, his family and supporters, his boyfriend, and school officials in footage from when this was actually happening. And you get to see the strain put on a 17 year-old boy when sat in front of the media during a press conference—something that wasn't captured in the movie. This is very real, and very moving. You absolutely felt for this young man with all your heart at what he was being put through.

COMMENTARY WITH THE DIRECTOR—he talks about the actors' fine performances and other projects they've been in. He points out his favorite lines, and throws in some personal digs about society's hypocrisies. There are quite a lot of silent moments, and his monotone commentary isn't particularly the most interesting I've ever heard.

MUSIC VIDEO—this is a video for the theme song, and for the most part, this same video is shown during the closing credits of the movie.

MORE FROM WOLFE—4 trailers: Brother Brother, Goldfish Memory, Yes Nurse! No Nurse!, Adored-Diary of a Porn Star.

Final Thoughts:
Prom Queen is a charming, simple movie, based on a true story, about a young gay man who just wants to take his boyfriend to the prom. All religious context aside, this could happen to any gay teen in any school. This fun film is a great inspiration and a reminder to adults that we have a responsibility to protect ALL of our children.



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