Starring: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Jo Ellen Pellman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Tracey Ullman
OUR RATING: ★★½
Netflix’s musical comedy directed by Ryan Murphy, based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar. The story follows a troupe of self-obsessed theater stars, Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden), whose careers have flatlined. Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), has been banned from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). That’s when Dee Dee, Barry, Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman), and Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells), another pair of actors whose careers need lifting, decide that Emma’s predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images. But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome find their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'What I want is simple as far as wanting goes. I just want to dance with you.' - Emma Nolan (The Prom) Click To Tweet 'A distraction is momentary. An escape helps you heal.' - Principal Tom Hawkins (The Prom) Click To Tweet
Press Reporter: You have your choice of roles. What drew you to Eleanor?
Dee Dee Allen: Well, Eleanor Roosevelt was a brave, powerful, charismatic woman, who no one had ever heard of. Her story needs to be told. People need to know it is possible to change the world, whether you’re a homely middle-aged First Lady, or a Broadway star!.
Press Reporter: Barry Glickman! You were brilliant as FDR.
Barry Glickman: From the moment I first stepped into FDR’s shoes. And when I say “shoes”, I mean wheelchair. I had an epiphany. I realized there is no difference between the president of the United States and a celebrity. We both have power. The power to change the world.
Sheldon: [reading the review] “Barry Glickman’s FDR might just be the most insultingly misguided, offensive, and laughable performance that this reviewer has ever had the squirming misfortune to endure.”
Dee Dee Allen: That’s not so bad.
Barry Glickman: Do her. Do her.
Dee Dee Allen: I’m just saying.
Sheldon: [reading the review] “Watching Dee Dee Allen’s Eleanor Roosevelt croaking out a heavy-handed message of activism, is like paying an aging drag queen to shove a syrup-soaked American flag down my throat.”
Dee Dee Allen: Well, that’s not criticism. That’s just, it’s just a personal attack.
Sheldon: “If you’re considering buying a ticket to this show, do yourself a favor. Buy a few feet of good, heavy rope instead, and then go hang yourself.”
Barry Glickman: Was the show really that bad?
Sheldon: It’s not the show. It’s you two. You’re just not likeable.
Barry, Dee Dee: What?
Sheldon: Nobody likes a narcissist.
Trent Oliver: My condolences, Dee Dee. But remember, you have friends.
Dee Dee Allen: Thank you. Who are you?
Trent Oliver: Trent Oliver. We’ve done five shows together.
Dee Dee Allen: Oh, really? Oh, my God.
Trent Oliver: But we learned at Juilliard…
Barry Glickman: Oh, mother of God.
Trent Oliver: If I could soliloquize, “If you prick me, do I not bleed? And if you do not pay me, do I not still act?”
Trent Oliver: Maggie Smith once approached me in a men’s bathroom, and she said, “Who sent you? Was it Michelle Dockery? Because the court said five hundred yards.” You could tell she was scared.
Angie Dickinson: Twenty years in the chorus, and they still wouldn’t let me play Roxie Hart. You want to know who they have playing the role these days?
Barry Glickman: Kelly Ripa?
Dee Dee Allen: Cher?
Trent Oliver: Connie Chung.
Barry Glickman: Kris Jenner?
Angie Dickinson: No, Tina Louise. Ginger from Gilligan’s Island.
Barry Glickman: Oh, my God. Is she still alive?
Angie Dickinson: At least we’re all in the same boat.
Trent Oliver: “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” That’s from The Tempest.
Barry Glickman: Okay, one, shut up. Two, I refuse to give up, okay? We’re still celebrities. We still have power.
Trent Oliver: Now, The Times sort of castrated you as it were.
Angie Dickinson: Yep. They wrote you off as aging narcissists.
Dee Dee Allen: I still don’t understand what’s wrong with that.
Barry Glickman: There’s a very simple way that we can still love ourselves yet appear to be decent human beings. Okay? We will become celebrity activists.
Angie Dickinson: Oh! Brilliant!
Barry Glickman: Right? All we need is a cause.
Dee Dee Allen: A cause celebre.
Barry Glickman: Everybody think of some causes. Go.
Trent Oliver: Poverty?
Barry Glickman: Too big.
Angie Dickinson: World hunger.
Barry Glickman: That is also a major thing. No, we need something we can handle.
Dee Dee Allen: Some little injustice we can drive to. Recycling.
Angie Dickinson: Oh, my gosh. Check this out.
Barry Glickman: What girl?
Angie Dickinson: It’s all over Twitter. She’s from Edgewater, Indiana. She’s a lesbian. She wanted to take her girlfriend to the high school prom, and the PTA went apes**t, and they canceled it.
Barry Glickman: They canceled prom? Are they allowed to do that?
Angie Dickinson: No.
Dee Dee Allen: We have got to go down there, and raise holy hell.
Barry Glickman: We will be the biggest thing to happen in Indiana since whatever’s happened in Indiana.
Angie Dickinson: Can we actually do this?
Barry Glickman: You bet your sweet MILF a** we can!
Dee Dee Allen: Okay, now we have got to get an anthem!
Angie Dickinson: Like “We Are The World”.
Barry Glickman: Yes, but for lesbians.
Dee Dee Allen: We’re doing a great thing here. We’re being great people. This is all great. This is going to get me my third Tony Award.
Dee Dee Allen: You know how political the Tonys are. They don’t vote for you. They vote for your brand. My brand is a little tarnished at the moment.
Barry Glickman: Because of the infamous tirade at the Longacre Theatre?
Dee Dee Allen: When a cell phone goes off, in the middle of a performance, I can’t be held responsible.
Barry Glickman: It was your cell phone!
Dee Dee Allen: I didn’t know that!
Barry Glickman: It was in your wig!
Dee Dee Allen: I didn’t know that at the time.
Principal Tom Hawkins: [at the PTA meeting] This is not about government intervention. Emma, what is this about?
Mrs. Greene: I just want to go to prom like any other kid.
Principal Tom Hawkins: But you can’t. She can’t, and that’s why the courts are involved. Ask yourself. What exactly is it that you find so frightening about gay people?
Barry Glickman: [after they crash the PTA meeting] What you are doing here is wrong.
Mrs. Greene: I’m sorry. Who are you?
Barry Glickman: Where is our girl? Where’s Emma? Emma!
Emma Nolan: I’m Emma.
Barry Glickman: Emma, my name is Barry, and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Okay? I am as gay as a bucket of wigs. A bucket of them! And we are here from New York City, and we are going to save you. Tomorrow, we will hold a rally. There will be banners and choreography.
Mrs. Greene: What is going on? Who are you people?
Trent Oliver: We are liberals from Broadway.
Barry Glickman: Oh, shut up!
Angie Dickinson: We are here to open your hearts and your minds.
Dee Dee Allen: We have come to show this community that gay people, and gay-positive icons, such as myself, are made of the same flesh and blood as they are.
Dee Dee Allen: We’re not monsters. We’re cultural disruptors.
Dee Dee Allen: [after Hawkins admits he’s a fan] What kind of a fan? Big fan? Small fan? Scary stabby fan?
Principal Tom Hawkins: You could say that I’m a big fan. Yes.
Dee Dee Allen: Really? That’s so surprising because you’re not my usual demographic.
Principal Tom Hawkins: You mean Black?
Dee Dee Allen: No, straight. You are straight, right?
Principal Tom Hawkins: Yes. I am. Straight people like Broadway too.
Dee Dee Allen: I’ve heard that. Always thought it was a fairy tale.
Dee Dee Allen: [to Hawkins] Backing off is exactly what we’re not going to do. I see what’s happening here. You’re trying to disarm me with flattery. It’s not going to work, Tom. Flattery makes me stronger. Fuels my ego.
Alyssa Greene: I’m really freaking out.
Emma Nolan: Don’t freak out. We have a plan, remember? We’re going to get dressed up, and go to prom, and be together, in public, not hide anymore.
Alyssa Greene: Are you sure about this?
Emma Nolan: There’s only one thing I’m sure about.
Emma Nolan: [singing] I don’t want to start a riot. I don’t want to blaze a trail. I don’t want to be a symbol. Or a cautionary tale. I don’t want to be a scapegoat for people to oppose. What I want is simple as far as wanting goes. I just want to dance with you. Let the whole world melt away and dance with you. Who cares what other people say? And when we’re through, no one can convince us we were wrong.
Angie Dickinson: Dickinson, four rooms. I called yesterday.
Dee Dee Allen: Four rooms of varying size to reflect the hierarchy of the company, right? Where is my suite?
Motel Clerk: We don’t have a suite.
[places her Tony Award on the desk]
Dee Dee Allen: Now do you have a suite?
Motel Clerk: No, we don’t have any suites. All the rooms are the same.
[she places another Tony Award on the desk]
Barry Glickman: Angie, what is this place? We’re all going to get stabbed and stuffed. You know that, right?
Angie Dickinson: Orbitz gave it three stars!
Angie Dickinson: Oh! A wishing well! Make a wish, Dee Dee.
Dee Dee Allen: Death. I wish for death.
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