Disney’s Prom Pact channels its inner ’80s movie to deliver a fun film for the tween audience that delivers messages of living in the moment.
Disney Channel Original Movies almost never miss, and thankfully Prom Pact is another hit for its target audience. This movie channels its inner ’80s flick, which is something it mentions several times. It’s lighthearted and fun at times, but also teaches tweens the importance of living in the moment and not putting too much stress on yourself.
There is a lot of pressure on High Schoolers nowadays. Even if you take college completely out of the mix, social media has made it so that every single thing they do is under scrutiny. They are in danger of being filmed at their most vulnerable moments. While Prom Pact is packed with laughs, especially thanks to actor Milo Manheim, it is also unafraid to tackle some serious issues that teens go through in a way they will resonate with it.
On of the most refreshing things about Prom Pact is the fact that it features a strictly platonic friendship between two members of the opposite sex. They are best friends and there is absolutely no romantic connection. The majority of the time that we see something like this, they end up falling for each other. Thankfully that is not the case in this movie. It normalizes this, which breaks a stigma, and as a parent, I appreciate it.
Being a parent I also appreciate that it is unafraid to tackle some heavier topics in a way that opens doors for conversations. There are a few times that Ben, Milo’s character, is made fun of for not having “hooked up” with a girl before. In the real world, this happens all the time. Even though this is what sparks his interest in going to parties and talking to the girl he likes, he quickly realizes he is not the party type. He doesn’t change and become someone he is not because of peer pressure. He remains his goofy and awkward self through the movie — and it works out for him.
At the same time, Mandy, who is played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, bonds with Graham, played by Blake Draper, as she tutors him. This is the most predictable part of the story, but the best part about it is that these two characters teach each other something.
Mandy teaches Graham that he doesn’t have to live for his father’s approval, while Graham teaches Mandy that there is more to life than academics. It is fine for her to have a goal of going to Harvard, but she should still live in the moment and enjoy life.
It’s these young actors that bring so much to the table in this movie. They might not completely pull off the High School look, but few rarely do. Maybe there will be a sequel where they are all in college, which fits the look a little better.
Prom Pact is very much made for the tween audience. Younger kids who have enjoyed Disney Channel Original Movies like Zombies, might be find this one a bit too grown up, and a bit too slow. This could create a problem considering they will want to watch since it stars Milo Manheim, who plays Zed in the Zombies flicks. Executive Producer Julie Bowen let us know that there are actually two versions of the film, which could solve this problem. There is the Disney+ version, which is for an older audience, and then the Disney Channel version, which is edited for younger viewers.
The movie has great messages about learning that there is more to life than academics and following the path that your parents want you to go down. It is about life long friendships and working towards your goals, but not missing out on the fun because of it. There are some hilarious promposals and a strong female lead who will have you questioning the themes of all your favorite ’80s movies.
It might be predictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on the journey.
Rating: 3 out of 5
About Prom Pact
It’s the height of prom season, and high school senior Mandy Yang and her best friend and fellow outsider Ben are surrounded by over-the-top ’80s-themed Promposals. However, Mandy keeps her eyes focused on a different goal: her lifelong dream of attending Harvard.
When she finds out that she has been put on the waitlist, she is determined to do whatever she can do to get herself accepted, even if that means asking for help from the one person she abhors – popular all-star jock Graham Lansing, whose father is a powerful senator and Harvard alum.
Once Mandy becomes Graham’s tutor, she begins to realize there’s more to him than she thought and perhaps something more to life than Harvard.
You Might Also Enjoy...
Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.