List :: Prom Songs
July 28th 2011
Movies are entirely to blame for my expectation that my Year 12 formal would be perfect and magical, all our petty adolescent dramas would fade in the face of our impending separation and the aforementioned magicalness of the soiree, and that any one of about nine boys I had really fancied over the last few years would chase me out to the carpark and take me in his arms and tell me he always saw past the terrible fringe and the correcting of everybody else’s grammar. Instead I spent the whole night tugging my halterneck dress up to hide my hideous strapless bra, got really drunk on Absolut Peach, and was given an award for my terrible fringe (which was in YEAR EIGHT, guys, give it a rest). There were good things too, but it wasn’t life-changing or anything.
In movies, though, school dances are awesome. They’re packed with tasty morsels of makeouts and melodrama, alternating like the chicken main and the beef; all the so-not-eighteen boys are in really nice suits; and they’re almost always implausibly well-decorated and choreographed. And the music is much, much better – whether your boyfriend has “called in a favour” to get your favourite indie band to play, or your whole life is soundtracked by Air, it’s a shiteload better than doing the U-Turn in an awkward circle.
What if instead of Madonna, puffed-sleeve taffeta and jerks, you got to relive your big night with The Smiths, Michael Vartan, everyone in the grade going absolutely all-out with the threads, and (SPOILER) the mean girls getting dog-food all in their pretty hair? Ignore the fact that the sexy teach has probs thought about this alleged 17-year-old naked once or twice seeing as he loves her and all, and it’s pretty great. Even though no suburban high school has ever played ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ at a social event. Ever.
Whatever your feelings on Harry Potter in general or Hermione’s godawful dress in particular (she couldn’t have got that hookup with Christopher Bailey at Burberry a little earlier?), you have to admit that Jarvis Cocker, Jonny Greenwood and a couple of other Britpop stalwarts make a pretty excellent super(natural)group as The Weird Sisters. Here’s the scene, but the full song ‘Do The Hippogriff’ is below. Check Jonny’s rad three-necked magic guitar.
THE 90s CRINGE
Because two hundred seventeen-year-olds would absolutely take the time and effort to learn a long and complex dance routine… and then nail it while Usher yells inane shit at them. Also, take away further points for the personality-free triple-named leads’ super-awkward pointed avoidance of one another, and for the most overplayed song of the late nineties. Ugh.
THE MOST REALISTIC
OK, technically not a movie, but I never need an excuse to talk about this show. Apatow growhouse Freaks and Geeks is a work of genius, ranking up there with Firefly and Fawlty Towers for packing so much awesome into so few episodes. This scene from the pilot showcases its trademark cockle-warming honesty about adolescence, epic LOLz, and awesome-for-1980 soundtrack – exemplified here by absurd hair band Styx.
“You know that new sound you’ve been looking for? Well, listen to this!”
Subverts the Everyone Is A Professional Dancer trope because in 1955, people actually knew how to dance.
THE GENIUS PARODY
Not Another Teen Movie may have many of the crass gross-out tropes of lesser Genre Parody-Pastiche Movies, but it’s also a loving homage to teenage flicks from Breakfast Club to Bring It On, and the injokes and references are piled on top of one another with varying degrees of subtlety. Naturally, the prom is a central plot point, and while the event itself is fun – Good Charlotte contribute a typically whiny but good-natured set of eighties covers as the house band – the Obligatory Musical Number that precedes it is better. ‘Prom Tonight’ was written by Ben Folds, so when you find it’s stuck in your head and you’re singing “I just jerked off in your French toast!” on the bus, blame him and his relentless gift for catchiness.