Made for television movies sometimes surprise. This is one of those. Canadian TV broadcast this uplifting comedy drama in 2004 and it is the true account of Marc Hall, a high school student who sued the Catholic church because he was not allowed to bring his boyfriend to his high school prom. Guided by a terrific cast, the movie looks at the homophobic state of affairs of the local school board and the church as well. The story teaches as it entertains and it gives us a look at heroic spirit of gay teen activism and the courage of Marc and his parents and friends as they come together to send Marc and his boyfriend to the prom.
The movie succeeds because of the direction and the good story, John L’Ecuyer directs with a light hand and the screenwriting team of Michael MacLennan and Kent Staines have done quite a job in writing a script that shows the challenge to Catholic school policies regarding homosexuality and trying to prevent a young man from bringing his boyfriend to his prom.
Aaron Ashmore is wonderful as blue-haired, blue-eyed fun-loving Marc Hall. He is gay and is somewhat comfortable with himself. He has a partner named Jason that he wants to bring to his prom. Marc is lucky to have friends who support and encourage him. Opposite him are the school board and his principal who remind him constantly that he is in a state of sin and refuse to allow Marc to bring Jason to the prom.
Marc turns to his family and they back him completely. With his friends and family on his side as well as a gay lawyer (Scott Thompson), Marc agrees to fight the school board and the church and when he pleads his case, there is hardly a dry eye on either side of the screen. That he wins his case is one thing but what makes this movie so good is the way the story is told.
Here is a tender movie that speaks to all ages and has a strong lesson. The acting is wonderful and the story touches the nerve. All of the characteristics of a good movie are there—cast wit, fun, drama and sensitivity.
Ashmore’s captures the part. He has youthfulness in his eyes and possesses the spirit of youth. The movie inspires. It shows us that with the proper demeanor and the desire, there is little that we cannot do. It’s a modern fairy tale replete with a happy ending. We see the bumps along the way to liberation and understanding and we see how they were surmounted. The only thing missing from the movie is an exploration of how it feels to be gay teenager who does not have support. Otherwise the movie is wonderful.