We always love a public call-out of the problematic tropes of romantic comedies, especially the ones in the original movies that started most of them. Mandy really disses a lot of the 80s movies, and we find it hard to disagree with her. We think that “Prom Pact” might also be an apology to them. In the 80s movies, when a popular guy liked an unpopular girl, she got a makeover, and he fell in love with her. When a popular girl liked an unpopular guy, she would change everything about herself to be with him. In the “Prom Pact,” there is no change for anyone. It is just a bunch of genuinely nice people getting to know each other and getting along well. But we wonder what it would have been like if Milo Manheim, who plays Ben, had instead played Graham since he had much more chemistry with Peyton Elizabeth (Mandy) than Blake Draper (Graham) did. Either way, this is how the prom pact comes to be.
The Prom Pact
All Mandy has ever wanted was to get into Harvard, and all her friend, Ben, wants is to get the entirety of the high school experience, with the parties, the dating, and everything in between. When Mandy comes to know that her application for Harvard has been waitlisted, she is heartbroken and has all but given up, but Ben tells her to get her fight on and figure out a way to turn it into an acceptance. Therefore, Mandy goes to speak with Ms. Chen, the school’s guidance counselor, and she tells Mandy that a recommendation letter might help her. She mentions that Senator Lansing is Harvard’s alma mater, and a prominent name like his could do the trick for her. She doesn’t specifically tell her to go to him, but that is where Mandy sets her sights. Since she can’t ask him directly for a recommendation, she decides to go through his son, Graham Lansing, who is a popular football player in their school. The only problem is that she has never liked him, and he doesn’t even know that she exists. Regardless, she goes to a party with Ben to seek out Graham but only catches his attention when she accidentally badmouths him. The next day, she goes for a group activity, hoping to run into him, and her efforts bear some fruit. She speaks with Graham and offers to tutor him as an apology for what she said at the party. Graham asks her what the catch is, but she lies to him and says there are no strings attached.
Graham and Mandy start studying together, but they are finding it difficult to do so because Graham gets restless rather quickly, and Mandy doesn’t like him very much, to begin with. To keep the lessons going, Mandy comes up with the idea to teach him while he is playing. This trick works, and Graham’s grades start improving. But due to her time with Graham, she has not been spending as much time with Ben. Also, since she is always with Graham, she starts seeing him in a new light. He is certainly good-looking and has an easy manner about him. He notices little things about her, like the fact that she is a vegetarian, even though she never told him so. And there is some tension between them, which they notice when Graham tries to teach her how to play basketball. Mandy is surprised that she is checking her appearance right before she goes to Graham’s place to tutor him. It is during this time that he really opens up to her about how his father constantly undermines him.
Mandy misses movie night with Ben because she stays back for dinner with Graham and his family, but the senator doesn’t come home at the last minute. Regardless, Graham’s mother finds out that Mandy wants to go to Harvard and promises to put in a good word with her husband. When dropping off Mandy, Graham tells her that Harvard was his first choice as well, but his dad did not let him apply because he did not believe in him. Mandy encourages him to not live his life for his dad’s approval, and he ends up asking her to go to a fundraiser with him. Sadly, the fundraiser is on the same day as Ben’s birthday. But Mandy makes up for it by getting Ben to ask LoToya, his high school crush, for dinner on that day. Mandy’s absence in Ben’s life had worked out in his favor because he found that LoToya liked him as much as he liked her. She went to the movies with him and would have also gone for waffles if he wasn’t so dense. She was also happy to go to his birthday dinner.
Come Saturday, Mandy is looking like a million bucks, and she goes to the fundraiser with Graham. When they are slow-dancing on stage, there is no hiding their feelings anymore, and they end up kissing. Later, when Graham is briefly distracted, Mandy runs into his father and, because of her feelings for him, decides not to ask the senator for a recommendation letter. But when she hears Graham’s brothers talking about how he brought Mandy to the fundraiser to look smart but had actually spent the entire morning with another girl, she is heartbroken and decides to leave. She calls Ben to come pick her up but backtracks when she realizes that he is on a date. Nevertheless, he comes to pick her up, leaving behind a fuming LoToya. When Ben takes a crying Mandy home, they reaffirm their pact to go to prom together.
In school, Mandy ignores Graham exactly the way LoToya ignores Ben. But for the former, the misunderstanding is cleared, as Graham had spent time with the other girl so that he could orchestrate the perfect “promposal” for Mandy. As for Ben, though LoToya accepts his apology, she is furious with him once again as he turns down going to prom with her for the sake of Mandy. Therefore, imagine Ben’s anger when Mandy tells him that she said yes to Graham for prom. Ben lashes out at her for taking him for granted and questions Mandy about whether she really likes Graham or if all of this is just to get the recommendation letter. Unfortunately, this outburst is recorded, and the video goes viral, causing Graham to break up with Mandy.
‘Prom Pact’ Ending Explained: Why Does Mandy Go To Prom With Ben?
Mandy is heartbroken and friendless for a while, with literally everyone ignoring and blaming her for what happened. But Mandy is a fighter, and she decides to set things right instead of just moping around. She goes to Ben’s house and starts dancing to 80s music, telling him that she won’t stop unless he says yes to going to prom with her. His anger melting, he forgives her and agrees. But before they go to prom, they watch a movie and eat waffles, just like old times. When they finally reach the event, they are the only ones dressed in 80s costumes and really stand out. Either way, they dance their hearts out, despite the disappointment of their crushes ignoring them. When the time comes to announce the prom king and queen, to nobody’s surprise, LoToya is the prom queen, but to everybody’s surprise, the prom king is Ben. Mandy had made that happen with the help of Ms. Chen to make sure that Ben got the high school experience he wanted.
On stage, Ben publicly declares that he will not be afraid and go for what he wants, which includes owning his crush and kissing her on stage. Mandy is happy for them, but Graham’s coldness still tugs at her heart. Either way, the fact that she got accepted into Harvard makes up for it. Turns out Ms. Chen sent the recommendation letter, and it worked. On the last day of school, Mandy is valedictorian, and in her speech, she talks about “BEEF” which is something she learned from Graham. Both of them seem to be on good terms, though they are not together. Graham tells her that he is applying to UT like his dad wanted him to. Mandy believes that it is the last time she is going to see him. But Ben and LoToya are dating.
Cut to Harvard: Mandy is moving on with her classes and stuff when she runs into Graham. It turns out he is not going to UT and wants to try for Harvard, so he is taking a gap year. Without wasting any more time, they both kiss and are finally together.
What Works For ‘Prom Pact’?
Sometimes we wonder if we take the content we watch a little too seriously. After all, there was nothing new about “Prom Pact,” and not watching it wouldn’t have made a difference to our lives. But when we gave it a chance, it was sweet and entertaining and a reminder of all the rom-com tropes that we love despite their cliche nature. Maybe that is enough sometimes. Tune into this movie if you are in the mood for a classic with some new faces. That is all there is to it.