NEW YORK -- While prom season may mean promposals and memories, for others it can be a test of friendship.
Disney Channel Original Movie "Prom Pact" explores the friendship of Mandy (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and Ben (Milo Manheim) through the lens of a coming-of-age rom-com, but with a modern twist.
"I think now with a modern audience they expect more with their films now," said Blake Draper, "Graham Lansing."
This is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to come with the TV-14 label.
"It wasn't a kids' movie. The humor, the subject matter, all of it, even us talking about what was problematic in the '80s, it definitely requires a maturity level," said Julie Bowen, Executive Producer.
"It's great to have an openly queer voice of reason," said Margaret Cho, who plays school guidance counselor "Ms. Chen." "She understands the culture of these kids but is also trying to guide them in a way that is meaningful."
Mandy wants nothing more than to go to Harvard, but being waitlisted pushes her to go to extremes to achieve her dreams.
She enlists Ben to help her get a recommendation letter from the father of all-star jock Graham Lansing.
But Mandy discovers there's more to Graham than she thought once she becomes his tutor.
"The friendship between Ben and Mandy, the two main characters is so important and crucial. It's never about them becoming a couple. It's about their friendship and what it means to put friendships first and how actually friendships can suffer because of romantic interests, and that you can have all of that in high school and take care of your friends and look out for one another," Bowen said. "Because those are the relationships that will sustain you."
"Prom Pact" premieres Thursday, March 30 on Disney Channel and next day on Disney+.