The Prom is a 2020 American musical comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted to the screen by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, from their and Matthew Sklar’s 2018 Broadway musical of the same name. The film stars Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Kerry Washington, and introducing Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan.
In Edgewater, Indiana, head of the James Madison High School PTA Mrs. Greene announces the school’s prom will be canceled because female student Emma Nolan wanted to take a girl to the dance, defying their traditional beliefs and much to the dismay of Principal Tom Hawkins, who supports Emma.
Meanwhile, in New York City, narcissistic Broadway stars Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman are disappointed after their show Eleanor! The Eleanor Roosevelt Story closes on opening night due to the New York Times blasting their performances. They are comforted by Trent Oliver, a Juilliard graduate who is between acting jobs and only known for an early 2000’s sitcom ‘Talk to the Hand’, and Angie Dickinson, a performer who has just quit her part in the chorus of Chicago due to being passed over for the role of Roxie Hart in favor of Tina Louise. They realize Dee Dee and Barry need a cause to seem caring and selfless. After finding Emma’s story on Twitter, they drive to Indiana with the cast of Godspell and publicist Sheldon Saperstein.
At school, Emma is bullied and harassed by Kaylee, Shelby, Nick, and Kevin for being a lesbian and for the cancellation of the prom. The actors barge into the next PTA meeting in favor of Emma and while Mrs. Greene is furious, Hawkins reveals he is a big fan of Dee Dee. Emma and her secretly closeted girlfriend, Alyssa, Mrs. Greene’s daughter, meet in private and talk about Alyssa coming out to her mother.
The actors arrive at a motel and perform at a monster truck rally event, but are booed off the stage. Hawkins tells them the Indiana Supreme Court wants the school to hold a prom for Emma and invites Dee Dee to have dinner with him at Applebee’s, where the pair bond.
The next day, a number of promposals occur and Kaylee and Shelby find out about Alyssa’s plan to come out. At the house of Emma’s grandmother Bea, she reveals that Emma was kicked out by her parents at sixteen when she came out, and Barry tells her he left his house before his parents had the chance to do the same to him before convincing Emma to let him style her for the prom.
Afterward, it is revealed that the PTA arranged a separate prom for her, with the real prom being held at a private club. A furious Emma calls Alyssa, who tells her she did not know and she is not ready to come out yet. Dee Dee accidentally reveals they came to Indiana to improve their image, leaving Principal Hawkins disappointed with her.
The next day, Mrs. Greene addresses the media frenzy that followed the separate proms. While Angie comforts a heartbroken Emma, Barry tells Dee Dee to get Emma on her ex-husband Eddie Sharp’s show while she tells him to call his mother Vera but they both are reluctant. Dee Dee meets up and apologizes to Hawkins and they reconcile. Emma meets up with Alyssa and breaks up with her, despite her apology.
Trent confronts Kaylee, Shelby, Nick, Kevin, and three unnamed students and persuades them to support Emma with help from the Godspell cast upon exposing their own flaws. Dee Dee arrives at the motel and tells everyone she agreed to give away her house in The Hamptons in order to get Emma on Eddie’s show. She turns this offer down to tell her story her own way and sings a song she wrote during a livestream, which goes viral online as Alyssa also watches it.
Realizing they truly care for her, the actors decide to throw her an inclusive prom themselves and contribute to the budget, though they have to convince Dee Dee to use her American Express Card. Afterward, Dee Dee tells Barry she called Vera, who wants to talk to him. Vera tells Barry that although she cannot undo what she did, she always wanted a relationship with him, and they make up.
Kaylee, Shelby, Nick, and Kevin show up at the gym and apologize to Alyssa and Emma. Mrs. Greene also arrives to stop the preparations for the prom, but Alyssa finally comes out to her mother. Mrs. Greene, unable to process the revelation, leaves silently. Alyssa and Emma reconcile.
Later that night, Emma and Alyssa show up early to meet with the actors, Sheldon, Bea, and Vera. Angie receives a message asking her to play Roxie Hart because Tina Louise has shingles, Trent signs on to be the school’s drama teacher and Barry is crowned prom queen. The students and many teens from the LGBT community show up for support. After the prom begins, Mrs. Greene arrives, apologizes, and embraces Alyssa, accepting her for who she is. Dee Dee and Principal Hawkins share a kiss and start a relationship. Emma and Alyssa finally share a public kiss and everyone celebrates.
Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, a narcissistic two-time Tony award-winning Broadway actress.
James Corden as Barry Glickman, a narcissistic Broadway actor.
Sam Pillow as a young Barry Glickman
Nicole Kidman as Angie Dickinson, a chorus girl who has been unable to get a chance to portray Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, a Julliard graduate who is between gigs and starred in the sitcom Talk to the Hand.
Keegan-Michael Key as Principal Tom Hawkins, the principal of James Madison High School.
Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan, Alyssa’s girlfriend and a lesbian teenage girl.
Ariana DeBose as Alyssa Greene, a cheerleader who is Emma’s girlfriend and in the closet.
Kerry Washington as Mrs. Greene, Alyssa’s mother and the head of Edgewater’s PTA.
Tracey Ullman as Vera Glickman, Barry’s mother.
Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, Dee Dee and Barry’s publicist.
Mary Kay Place as Grandma Bea, Emma’s supportive grandmother who raised her when Emma’s parents kicked her out of their house for coming out to them.
Logan Riley Hassel as Kaylee, Alyssa’s cheerleader friend who disapproves of Emma taking a girl to prom and has a small tattoo on her wrist.
Sofia Deler as Shelby, Alyssa and Kaylee’s cheerleader friend who also disapproves of Emma taking a girl to prom and has lost her virginity.
Nico Greetham as Nick, Kaylee’s boyfriend whose parents are divorced.
Nathaniel J. Potvin as Kevin Shield, Shelby’s boyfriend.
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