Like "Glee," the monosyllabic TV phenom whose action it so dearly covets, Disney's "Prom" sells its target audience on the idea that we can all get along, despite the raging, Balkanized stereotypes — broken down into the usual categories of "athletes," "misfits," "drama queens" and the like — that have sold this stuff since John Hughes was in short pants.
Set in Michigan but shot around Los Angeles, director Joe Nussbaum's movie comes from promising first-time screenwriter Katie Wech. Her work has a nice spirit; "Prom" may be the same old thing, and squeaky-clean to the point of mild-to-moderate aggravation, but it's not pushy.
Wech has the egalitarian good sense to create an ensemble piece for a baker's dozen of interacting characters, rather than an aggressive showcase for the female protagonist, a Type A Georgetown University-bound senior played by Aimee Teegarden of "Friday Night Lights."
Teegarden's appealing character, Nova, is a supernova in terms of determination and organizational skills. When her prom committee efforts go up in smoke (a fire destroys the decorations), it looks like curtains for the big event. But with the initially reluctant help of bad-boy Jesse (Thomas McDonell) she discovers that you can't judge books by their covers and that love is a funny thing.