Prom Vypusknoi

Prom (Выпускной) is a 2014 Russian comedy. It takes place at the end of the school year in Nizhny Novgorod as various students close to graduation prepare for their senior prom (or rather the Russian equivalent). The main characters include a couple who are trying to make plans for the future but whose parents are trying to break them up, three rappers who are filming a music video for their first album, and a girl who has publicly announced that she is going to commit suicide. Then there are also the usual concerns about how to buy enough alcohol as they all await what is supposed to be the best night of their lives. The film could perhaps be considered a Russian version of American Pie, but it doesn’t seem to have achieved the same cultural influence or notoriety.

It should also be mentioned that although “Выпускной” is often translated as “Prom,” the event is often much bigger in Russian culture, representing not only a formal dance, but also the end of high school.

Unusually, critics rated the film more favorably than audiences. The film has quite bad scores on both IMDB and KinoPoisk, but reviewers liked the film, which could suggest some sort of generational divide in opinions. This would make sense, considering that the film presents a massive clash, even descending into a battle, between the teenagers’ and parents’ generations. Film.ru called it one of the best youth comedies of the past twenty years in Russia and further added that it was “beneficial” for youth, despite its high age rating (18+). Many reviewers compared it to director Vsevolod Brodskiy’s previous films, especially Bitter (Горько), which follows the same general formula as Prom, but there was no widespread agreement on which film was better.

 

Director: Vsevolod Brodskiy
Stars: Viktor Grudev, Kristina Isaykina, Sergey Pokhodaev, Sergey Burunov, Yana Yenzhaeva, Yevgeniya Lyutaya
Production company: Central Partnership, Kinokompaniya Lunapark
Box office take: $4.25 million

Official trailer:

 

Prom Vypusknoi

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.