PROM Director Defends Romantic Look At High School Life

Prom director Joe NussbaumDisney's PROM may be a romantic look at high school lives in a sanitized version but director Joe Nussbaum defends the PG film against going the SuperBad route.

Don't expect a movie titled PROM to lead to raunchy teen antics. Instead the coming of age story from Walt Disney Pictures is more akin to their successful High School Musical franchise...without the music.  

At a press conference with the director and stars of PROM, director Joe Nussbaum, whose best known for his short film George Lucas in Love, gave his reason why PROM is as equally relevant as some of the other high-profiled films that address a racier side of teen life. "There are certain things we didn't touch in this film. But I think there is an overbundancy
of things that we did explore that's truthful about high school that makes it representative of high school experience."

In PROM, several intersecting stories unfold at one high school leading up to prom night.  Some plan the perfect night while others must find a date to the most important night in their high school lives.

Joe Nussbaum chose PROM because he was wanting to direct a high school movie. The Sydney White director names American Graffiti as his favorite film about high school. PROM stars Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, Yin Chang and De'Vaughn Nixon count many 80s classic as their favorites such as Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Say Anything. Those films seemed innocent enough for those times but films like Caddy Shack and Fast Times At Ridgemont High certainly changed the course for teen comedies.

In PROM, the high school teens don't spend time texting on cell phones, surfing the net, or speaking in slang. PROM producer Justin Springer made a conscious decision to make this film
"less glossy" than other teen angst film.  "This wasn't meant to be slick and super produced," said the producer. The PROM director also added that was also the reason for casting "new faces" in the roles of the teens.

While most critics will say PROM is not an accurate portrayal of modern high school life, Joe Nussbaum says that shouldn't detract from the message of the film. "We didn't pretend that
those things weren't happening. We just didn't show it in the film... obviously because  we're making a Disney film but I don't think it makes the film any less truthful."

Nicholas Braun in Prom

Producer Justin Springer said the idea for the film wasn't to make it racy but to tell a story about "being truthfull to yourself and not to social norms."  Actor Nicholas Braun who plays the lovelorn Lloyd offers up another message audiences can take away from PROM. "It's not the end of the world to get rejected. It's worth taking the leap for."

PROM is in theaters April 29.

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