Netflix’s The Prom: James Corden’s gay stereotyping is perpexling

The Prom: Meryl Streep and James Corden star in Netflix trailer

It felt more suited to a 1980s variety show than a 2020 Netflix movie. Has a road just opened up for a Duncan “Chase Me” Norvelle comeback? Thankfully, camp Corden doesn’t completely hog the limelight in Glee director Ryan Murphy’s glitzy adaptation of a 2016 stage musical. He plays one of three attention-seeking Broadway stars – diva Dee Dee (Meryl Streep), “gay as a box of wigs” Barry (Corden) and chorus girl Angie (Nicole Kidman). ”You find mincing entrance this perplexing.

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After their Broadway show flops, singing barman Trent (Andrew Rannells) hits on a PR stunt. A bible-bashing town has made headlines for banning lesbian Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) from taking her sweetheart Alyssa (Ariana DeBose) to her school prom.

“We’re liberals from Broadway!” shouts Trent as the misguided foursome gatecrash a PTA meeting in protest. Pitting bigoted red state Americans against smug blue state liberals is full of comedic potential.

But, after an intriguing set-up, it loses its edge with each Broadway star given their own momentum-sapping subplot. The satire, along with gay student Emma, is edged off stage.

There are some sharp lyrics and a couple of decent tunes. Rannells is excellent, and Streep and Kidman, while hardly stretched, provide the requisite amount of showbiz pizzazz. Corden’s performance, I suspect, will be a matter of taste.

He can hold a tune but I couldn’t buy him as everyone’s lovable, fabulous, gay best friend.

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