Generally excellent reviews are coming in for The Prom, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical, and while Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman are getting raves as is the movie as a whole, James Corden has earned some wrath for his performance as a gay man. In the ongoing debate about straight actors playing gay roles, it’s not a good look.
Tweeted Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson: “It’s one of the worst film performances of the 21st century.”
Erik Anderson, the founder of AwardsWatch, tweeted “Really liked #TheProm. A gorgeous and vibrant production. Streep is hilarious and commanding. Keegan-Michael Key is dreamy. Kidman, Rannells and Washington are fun. Ariana DeBose is winsome. But it’s Jo Ellen Pellman who has my heart in a wonderful, star-making turn. The main, and huge, drawback is James Corden. His performance is gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time. It’s horrifically bad.”
More tweets about Corden’s performance below.
The film, directed by Murphy from a script by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, is set to debut on Netflix on December 11. Check out the trailer HERE.
The synopsis: “Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden) are New York City stage stars with a crisis on their hands: their expensive new Broadway show is a major flop that has suddenly flatlined their careers. Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) is experiencing a very different kind of heartbreak: despite the support of the high school principal (Keegan-Michael Key), the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). When Dee Dee and Barry decide that Emma’s predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images, they hit the road with Angie (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), another pair of cynical actors looking for a professional lift. But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome find their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.”