My all-American Prom Dream
14 June 2013
**Unfortunately, the All-American Prom has been postponed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have bought a ticket and keep an eye out for information about a new date**
Like so many cultural phenomenons, the school prom started in America, and has been adopted wholeheartedly by the UK, where the industry is now reportedly worth over £80m.
This is in no small part down to the American teen movies that elevated the importance of prom to divine levels. Entire films focused on the build up to the big night and followed characters as they went through the ups and downs of prom preparation.
..and oh, how we loved them! For years me and my BFF's would lug our sleeping bags, strawberry facepacks and glitter nail varnishes to each other's houses and watch Never Been Kissed, Pretty In Pink, 10 Things I Hate About You and my personal favourite She's All That. As a group of girls at the wrong end of the popular scale these movies were our solace. We'd dream of how it would be, what we'd wear and who we'd go with. We'd even dream of who we'd piss off by looking surprisingly fabulous as we said goodbye to the shackles of school.
It was "the most important night" of our young lives.
As I reached the end of my school days, I joined the prom committee and set about recreating the finely tuned image we'd created over years of watching prom-com classics.
We booked a function room in a hotel, selected a colour scheme, designed invitations, found a photographer, chose the menu, bought crowns for our prom king and prom queen, had glasses engraved to be awarded for "best bum", "best party animal" and "best whatever other shallow non-achievement came to our minds as we wrote the categories".
Not forgetting the endless stream of appointments that that filled the diaries the of the sixth-form girls; hair, false nails, dress fittings, fake tan, one even went on a diet six months in advance!
On the night, half the prize glasses ended up in the hotel's dishwasher; someone brought their dad as their date and had to put him to bed after he indulged in too much cheap plonk; the crowns for the king and queen were made of tin; a couple of the creepier teachers took the opportunity to make inappropriate comments; I spent the night stuffing napkins back into my bra (they had a habit of falling out on the dancefloor!) and the DJ hadn't even heard of Total Eclipse of the Heart!
Oh and my date? My boyfriend at the time broke up with me two weeks before, but determined not to share my profiteroles with an empty chair I insisted he came anyway. Hardly the stuff of fairytales.
So maybe it wasn't quite everything we'd imagined, but it was definitely a night to remember and at least we got some good photos (on disposable cameras of course!)
Now, ten years on, Picturehouse at FACT conclude their season of prom-com screenings with an all-American Prom at The Kazimier and we get another chance to live the American prom dream! No raging hormones, no napkins, no awkward dates and NO TEACHERS (well, unless we have become teachers ourselves).
If like me, your prom was more chicken supreme than fairytale dream, - or if you've never had one - dig out your fanciest outfit and come along next Thursday!
The final prom-com screening is the crude but sweet American Pie and is showing on Monday 17 June at 6.30pm. Tickets on sale now.