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The Prom | 2020 | PG-13 | – 3.2.4

content-ratingsWhy is “The Prom” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic elements, some suggestive/sexual references and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few kissing scenes between men and women and teen boys and girls and two teen girls, discussions of same-sex couples, cleavage-revealing outfits, several arguments with yelling, discussions of teens being thrown out of the house by parents, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Musical about a gay teen couple unable to reveal their relationship to their peers and families for fear of retribution. When one of them makes it clear that she plans to go to the prom with her same-sex partner, the PTA cancels prom, until a troupe of actors from Broadway take the conservative Indiana town by storm. Also with Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Jo Ellen Pellman, Tracey Ullman and Mary Kay Place. Directed by Ryan Murphy. [Running Time: 2:10]

The Prom SEX/NUDITY 3

 – Two stuffed bears posed in a sex act are shown in a teen girl’s locker.
 A man kisses a woman and she moans. A man and a woman kiss and the man lifts her off the floor. Two teen girls kiss. Two teen girls nearly kiss and are interrupted. A few teen boys ask teen girls to go to prom with them and the act is referred to as a “promposal”; the girls accept and they hug and kiss.
 Two teen girls hold hands and walk together while singing about wanting to go to prom and dance with each other in a couple of scenes. Men and women dance at an after-party. Teen boys and teen girls dance at a prom and some of the girl’s dresses flip up to reveal matching undergarments and their legs to the hips.
 Two teen girls sing about their dates as they dress for prom and one girl says, “Even I would do me.” A teen girl sings a song with lyrics that include, “Don’t be gay in Indiana.” A character says, “Being gay is not a crime.” A man talks about a dating app that he jokes told him, “You will have zero matches forever.” A man talks about waiting for his crush outside his prom as a teenager and seeing him walk into the dance with a teen girl. A woman dances with some hip thrusting. A woman talks about her ex-husband’s numerous infidelities and their eventual divorce. Teen boys whistle at a woman as she dances and sings in a man’s office. A teen girl talks about her mother being so controlling, hoping that her father would come back. A teen girl breaks up with her girlfriend. A man talks about a teen girl having lost her virginity and that the Bible says that she and her family would be stoned for that and a man talks about a teen boy masturbating and that the Bible says that his hands would be cut off for that.
 Teen girls and teen boys wearing swimsuits (cleavage, bare legs to the hips and backs on the girls and bare chests, abdomens and backs on the boys are seen) are shown during swim team practice. Women wear low-cut dresses and tops that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A teen girl wears shorts that reveal bare legs to the upper thighs in a few scenes. Teen girls wear prom dresses that reveal cleavage, bare backs and bare legs to the mid-thighs. Women on-stage wear outfits that reveal bare legs to the upper thighs. A teen girl wears an off-the-shoulder dress that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and back.

The Prom VIOLENCE/GORE 2

 – A woman yells and lunges toward a teen girl and others pull her away. Teen girls throw balls at each other while playing dodgeball in gym.
 During a PTA meeting, a woman pounds a gavel on a table and yells. A woman announces that the PTA decided that there will be no prom because a teen girl wants to bring her girlfriend to the dance and the rules state that couples are to be of the opposite sex. A man tells a teen girl that actions taken by a group against her being able to attend a prom with her same-sex date constitute a civil rights violation. Two teen girls watch two other teen girls as they hug and they look at them threateningly. People sing about tolerance and dance at a monster truck rally and they are booed by the crowd. A teen girl arrives at a dance and realizes that no one else is there; a woman says, “This is so cruel.” A woman tells her adult son, “I failed you and I’m sorry.” We hear that a teen girl was kicked out of her house by her parents when she revealed she was gay. A man talks about his parents turning their backs on him when he told them he was gay, when he was 16. A man talks about his parents telling him that they would take him to therapy to change his life completely after he told them he was gay; he says, “They threw me away.” We hear that a woman created a scene when a cellphone rang during one of her performances and that the phone turned out to be her own. People argue about a stage production failing on its opening night and make remarks like, “No one likes a narcissist,” and “You are not likeable.” Someone says, “Being gay is not a crime,” and “Let’s go start a fight.” A man says, “We’re gonna get stabbed and stuffed.” A character says, “I wish for death.” A character says, “I could rip your face off.” A reference is made to “We kill Trent.” A woman says that she’d be “mobbed” if she went to a gay bar. A woman tells a man, “I grew up dirt poor.” A woman tells her teen daughter to go to prom and have a wonderful time, “Like a normal girl.” People talk about having a “PR problem.” A teen girl talks about her parents rejecting her and that they “stopped loving me.” A man tells a woman, “You are a bad person.” A man talks to teens about lacking empathy and they say, “We’re Christians,” and he tells them they can’t “…cherry-pick the Bible.” A man talks about a teen girl having lost her virginity and that the Bible says that she and her family would be stoned for that and a man talks about a teen boy masturbating and that the Bible says that his hands would be cut off for that. A man talks to a teen boy about his parents being divorced and that the Bible says that his mother would have to die for that. A woman tells a man, “Don’t let me destroy him” about another man after he kisses her. A song’s lyrics include, “Go big or you’ve blown it.”
 A man gags into a wastebasket while riding in a bus (we hear gagging but do not see goo). A woman talks about “A lot of bile,” and says of a man, “He’s retching again.” A man says, “I vomited in the bus again.”

The Prom LANGUAGE 4

 – 6 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, name-calling (homely, middle-aged, dumb luck, insane, people who are dead inside, insulting, misguided, aging drag queen, stupid, control freak, lesbo, you’re not likeable, narcissist, MILF, little lesbian, cousin loving, Hoosier humping, bigots, jerks, opportunist, scapegoat, bigoted monsters, local yokels, backwards ignoramus, my horrible parents, awful, irritating, awkward, antelope legs, silly, soul-crushing, idiot, greedy, angry, broken progeny, disgusting, hick town, colossally disappointing, butchy duck, big old girl), exclamations (go hang yourself, wow, shut-up, uh-oh, oh, shame, you screwed up, freaking out, bam, atta girl, oh good, back off, snap out of it, wait, stay calm, oh whatever, oh honey, yeah), 23 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, God, Jesus, Oh For God’s Sake, Holy [mild obscenity deleted], You’re Making Me Hate God). | profanity glossary |

The Prom SUBSTANCE USE

 – A woman holds a plastic bag filled with a variety of pills and gives one unidentified pill to a man, and song lyrics include, “Picture a Xanax in your hand.” Men and women drink champagne at an after-party, a man drinks from a bottle of wine, a woman serves a man lemonade that he asks if it has booze in it and she tells him yes, a man and a woman drink a cocktail and a beer at a restaurant, a woman talks about keeping her day drinking under control, and a woman drinks from a small bottle of liquor.

The Prom DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Same-sex partners, bigotry, conservative towns, PTAs, relationships, publicity, intolerance, opportunism, Eleanor Roosevelt, selflessness, actors, failure, poverty, world hunger, values, being Christian, bravery, parenting, fitting in, conforming, lack of empathy, divorce, sacrifice, Bob Fosse, right and wrong, life choices, activism, rejection, freedom of choice.

The Prom MESSAGE

 – Being decent human beings is not that difficult: Accept one another and love thy neighbor no matter who they love. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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