Arguably the biggest event of high school is the final event before graduation: the prom. Students prepare for months – picking the perfect dress and tuxedo, choosing the right date, booking the limousine, and preparing for the after-party. There is so much work that goes into making that night a night to remember – way beyond the four hours of shimmying and shrimp cocktail.
Because those years are so contentious, there is no shortage of films that capture those deliciously awkward years. John Hughes captured the American high school dynamics of the ’80s with films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, all of whom depicted the quintessential popular kids, jocks, nerds, and outcasts. These movies so expertly captured all the complications of being a teenager in American society during those years.
In certain regards, not much has changed when it comes to what it’s like going through four years of high school, as shown in the hit teen comedies Easy A, Mean Girls, and The Edge of Seventeen. All three films highlight the trickiness of navigating friend groups in modern high school and what happens when one mistake lands you into murky, anti-social waters (think Lindsay Lohan and The Burn Book). All three young women in these films go from managing well to completely imploding when the pressures of maintaining a good reputation, looks, and spirit becomes too much to bare. At least most prom nights are not like the thriller film, Prom Night. We’d say that even with all the discomfort that comes with the night, it’s not as stressful as Brittany Snow running for her life in six-inch heels through a balloon arch.
There’s nothing normal about prom: the terrible poses, the ugly boutonnieres, and the tearful parents snapping photos of their children in brightly colored outfits they’ll never wear again. There’s so much for the parents to rejoice in and so much for the kids to be stressed out about. At least we have the awkward photographs to look back on.