Review: Prom Pact


Although just a dance, prom can signify the beginning of the end. It’s one of the last events before graduation, marking the conclusion of high school and the beginning of adulthood, making it a go to for teen movies. 

The new movie Prom Pact, starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Milo Manheim, and Blake Draper was released on March 30, 2023 on Disney+. The movie follows a high school senior, Mandy Yang (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) who at the beginning of the movie gets waitlisted at Harvard during the festive time of prom season. Desperate to find a killer letter of recommendation to turn it into an acceptance, she turns to a senator who’s a Harvard-alumni, who also happens to be the father of the most popular guy in school, and captain of the basketball team, Graham Lansing (Blake Draper). Mandy formulates a plan with her best friend Ben Plunkett (Milo Manheim) to become Graham’s AP Psychology tutor in order to get close to him and eventually his father. However, hurt feelings become involved as Graham and Mandy become closer. The drama only intensifies from there.

Although the movie brought a good sense of nostalgia with rom com cliches, the movie was typical and had no “wow” factor to make me want to watch it again. From the start, we are introduced to Mindy as someone who’s completely opposed to any type of “typical” high school events and solemnly focused on getting into Harvard, her dream school since she was a child. 

However when the imminent possibility of actually not getting in appears, she crumbles. We see her in a desperate state, willing to do anything to get accepted, this including, going to prom with her best friend and befriending the most popular guy in school. This determined state that she’s in for the letter of recommendation blinds her from being able to see how Ben and Graham would feel about the situation. 

It was infuriating at times to see how Mandy would continuously choose Graham over Ben and jeopardize their friendship. However, we do see how they are able to work through their problems and continue to have a strong bond at the end of the movie. Their scenes were heartwarming to watch and the actors Peyton and Milo did an excellent job portraying this bond. As a whole, it was enjoyable for the most part to watch Mandy go through an unexpected love story while learning to value her friendships. 

Another notable character was Graham, the movie’s main love interest. Although we first get introduced to him as the stereotypical jock who’s dumb and mean, we get to learn about him more throughout the movie. We find that he cares about his sport, much more than just superficially and that he actually coaches a young team. The scene where Mandy gets to see him coach is especially touching because you see that moment when she begins to see him as more than just the captain of the basketball team. We see him through a different perspective and how he’s grown accustomed to the pressures and expectations of being the youngest child of a senator. He resonates with the audience with this parental pressure from his father and it plays a role in adding an obstacle to Graham and Mandy’s relationship. 

A lot of recent movies in the romantic comedy genre are filled with too many pop-culture references that make them really hard to get through. Something about this movie that definitely stood out to me the most, was that the style and storyline was conveyed in a way that worked. Although it’s set in a modern setting, they handled pop-culture references carefully and made the movie enjoyable to watch. The theme of the prom being the 80’s definitely helped bring a nostalgic feeling to it. There were a lot of scenes throughout the movie that were themed after something popular in the 80’s that I really enjoyed and felt contributed to the nostalgia. This included the prom theme reveal scene which was a choreographed Ghostbusters dance and a promposal with a reenactment of the famous dancing scene from The Breakfast Club. The movie also included a lot of cliches, but they all worked well. I enjoyed the “black cat and golden retriever” dynamic with Graham and Mandy as well as the cliche of the girl not “getting the hype” of the popular boy and eventually being the one to fall for him. The movie gave all the good elements of a classic romantic comedy, while adding an effective modern twist. 

Though it can definitely be enjoyed by anybody, I feel older kids or younger teens will connect with the movie more. . Overall, the movie was a lot better than I anticipated it to be. I expected it to be hard to get through, but it wasn’t. This is because the pacing of the movie was good, the characters were enjoyable to watch, the movie made you go through multiple emotions and it had a decent storyline.I would give this move a 7/10. It’s enjoyable to watch, just not one of my favorites.