Movie review: The Prom
Cross TV svengali Ryan Murphy's signature knack for churning out candy-coloured entertainment with Hollywood A-listers, catchy song-and-dance numbers and all the sequins your eyes can take, and you cannot really go very wrong in the razzmatazz department.
Based on the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name, The Prom follows a group of narcissistic but down-on-their-luck Broadway stars (Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells) who are searching for a cause celebre to revive their flagging careers.
Armed with the notion that celebrities have the power to change the world, the quartet then shake up a small Indiana town by rallying behind high school teen Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) who wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose).
The woke school principal (Keegan-Michael Key) is on their side, but the conservative head of the Parent Teacher Association (Kerry Washington) insists it goes against school rules and threatens to cancel the prom.
The sheer star power on display is an undeniable draw, with Streep and Corden predictably lapping up the lion's share of the spotlight, being no strangers to musical films from Mamma Mia! to Cats and Into The Woods.
But like the ageing divas they portray, their act can get a little "much", to the point of being exhausting at parts.
Surprisingly, it is Kidman who is the weakest link - so stunning in Moulin Rouge yet blending into the background like her overlooked and forgettable chorus girl character.
By the time she launches into her own number Zazz and attempts to teach Emma how to "find her light", Kidman's own had already diminished considerably.
There is the usual Murphy brand of snarky humour and even more tear-jerking confessionals, but ultimately, it is the feel-good, inclusive, LGBTQ-positive messaging that will tug at you.
When Streep's character is faced with a critic's review of her latest production, she pleads with her manager not to tell her "unless it's a rave or a mixed positive".
The Prom is more of the latter but still delivers a pretty good time.