Nerdy high school senior Danny has spent six hundred bucks on the hotel room, the limo and the tux for his prom. He’s only missing one thing – the girl. Hampered by well intentioned but clueless advice from his newly divorced parents and unsympathetic mocking from his best friends, Danny battles peer pressure, teen angst and his own raging hormones as he desperately searches for a prom date. Danny’s luckless quest turns to panic when he learns that even Bart – the school’s biggest dweeb – has secured not only a date but also a hotel room for the night.


Finding a date for the prom revolves around calculated brinkmanship—how long can you string along your “safe” choice while trying to score a hot date above your social pay grade? Danny (Kaplan) finds out the hard way that the waiting period is finite, as he puts off committing to taking his best friend, Camille (Shawkat), and follows some bad romantic advice from his loser dad (Macy). If nothing else, the film serves as a cringeworthy reminder to us all about what terrible people we were in high school.

Danny Stein (Steven Kaplan) lives in the sort of Floridian retirement community were people go to play golf and die, not necessarily in that order. His mum (Cheryl Hines) and dad (William H Macy, sporting the finest perm to grace celluloid in a while) are separated and trying to forge new relationships, but his biggest problem is getting a prom date – though he’s prepared to settle from anyone other than his platonic pal Camille (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat). As the clock begins to tick ever closer to the big day, it seems that extreme lengths will have to be gone to, particularly since Bart – the ever-present, yet for the most part unseen, school loser – is already rumoured to not only have a date, but also a room at the hotel where the prom is taking place.

It’s true that proms are quintessentially American events and that they have been given more twirls round the comedy film dance floor than many would deem strictly necessary, but don’t let that put you off. The script puts the emphasis on fun and harks back to the sort of comedy that John Hughes used to pull of so well back before every teen comedy had to have a sex/scatological gag every two minutes. That’s not to say that this comedy is ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt’ sweet – there are plenty of jokes made about the dating process, but they are always a notch above the lowest common denominator.

The DVD is rather special feature free. You get a pop-up production notebook that functions as an almost trivia track during the film. Plus, there’s a trailer for the film which rarely saw theatrical exhibition outside of the Film Festival circuit. Still, you get to see this clever film that allows the world a little taste of classic teen comedy without slapping Fallout Boy on the soundtrack. Therefore, I recommend it for a blind buy.
RELEASE DATE: 07/28/09

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