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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Popular kids struggle to stay liked, worried they won't be good enough if they just act like themselves. "Prom is about sex and sex is exciting." When people are being bullied, good people should do something to stop it. If people don't try to stop it, they are as guilty of bullying as the actual bullies. "The awesome high school experience had by popular kids is at the expense of unpopular kids' feelings."
Positive Role Models
Cole seems to manage being bullied without letting it ruin his life. Rejected, bullied students cleverly plan to upend the prom and form strong friendships through the effort. Cole's father acts inappropriately, suggesting that his adult life has never measured up to the highlight of his life: when he was a popular high school jerk who was named Prom King.
Violence & Scariness
Bullies drape an orthodox Jewish student with a pig's head and a lobster, two items that aren't kosher. A girl accuses her best friend of giving her an eating disorder by calling her fat. Bullies tar and feather a student. Later, the same is done to the prom queen by the vengeful unpopular kids. A gay student is shunned by straight kids for being too gay and by gay kids who think he isn't gay enough.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Cole's dad asks Cole why he's staring at Maddy's nipples. Prom slide show hacked to display a picture of a student that's been doctored to falsely show the boy has a very small penis; the student later arrested for distributing porn. School's wildly inappropriate principal announces over PA system a welcome back from spring break to all the "sexy young things" at school. A girl kisses a boy, licking his face. Cole's dad suggests that Cole won't be able to "get laid" before graduation, noting that his prom was a night that "dozens of virginities were laid to rest." A principal advices students on prom night to remember condoms or to "pull out."
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"F--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "d--k," "crap" "get laid," "screw," "WTF," "douche lick," "balls," "whore," and "slut shame."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A student's punch is spiked with a nausea-inducing medication. A student answers yes when asked facetiously if she's high. A parent offers to get underage teenagers beer as long as they don't tell their parents.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that F the Prom is a revenge-of-the-high-school-outsiders story in which prom night represents all that is wrong with and memorable about high school, and the "F" of the title stands for the four-letter "F" word. Bullied students relegated for four years to second-class status by the popular kids at school decide to sabotage the night they believe is designed to celebrate and memorialize all that the popular kids loved about their high school years and all that unpopular kids hated about the experience. Students talk about the desire for sex on prom night. Nude selfies are referenced. Kids use social media to send doctored photos suggesting a senior has a small penis. A bullied gay student's locker is filled with plastic penises. Bullies drape an orthodox Jewish student with a pig's head and a lobster, two items that aren't kosher. A girl accuses her best friend of giving her an eating disorder by calling her fat. Bullies tar and feather a student. Students are given embarrassing nicknames: Tighty (short for Tighty Whitey, referring to his underwear, seen by a crowd when someone pulls his shorts down), Sweats, Mutey, and Stuft (for using toilet paper to pad her bra). One student's drink is spiked with a vomit-inducing agent. Both a school principal and a senior's father refer to having sex on prom night as if it's a given. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "d--k," and " balls." A parent offers to get underage teenagers beer as long as they don't tell their parents. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie tries to be too many things to too many different people and thus makes little or no sense. Maddy goes from nice kid to snobby popular girl. How does that transformation occur? We never see. She condones bullying. She hangs out with jerks. But when she gets dumped by her popular boyfriend and reconnects with old friend Cole, she admits she's been awful and persuades him and other bullied kids to support her effort to sabotage the prom, a gesture designed to prove she's changed her ways. This seems unconvincing at best.
Equally difficult to credit is her later decision to betray her new friends and opt for a fairy tale, prom-queen triumph. It certainly feels unbelievable that she would somehow in the process have forgotten what fate she and her co-conspirators had planned for whoever was elected prom queen. After tar and feathers fall on her in the spotlight, she becomes apologetic again and somehow surprised that Cole is snubbing her. F the Prom relies on clever dialogue to disguise the fact that it has ignored any real character development. Why does the supposedly reformed Maddy, who understands the shallowness of popularity, go ahead and betray her friends again? When she makes a kind gesture at the end, Cole forgives her. It just doesn't seem plausible.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.