Red, White & Royal Blue: Show or Movie?
The film Red, White & Royal Blue is adapted by Prime Video from the bestselling novel by Case McQuistion and was probably the most expected LGBTQ+ film of 2023.
This is the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), son of the first female President of the United States after he gets into a fight with Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) of the United Kingdom. The two privileged bachelors fake a friendship to start a media crisis, invoking an enemies-to-lovers trope that works that pits them against each other’s families and their goals.
A sweet gay rom-com ala Heartstopper like no other, both actors showed amazing chemistry with each other, and their romance was surprisingly believable.
Zakhar Perez’s portrayal was praised for bringing the wit, charisma, and depth of fiction’s most beloved First Son to life. Galitzine was equally applauded for balancing the complexity of Prince Henry: his inner turmoil between his duty to his family, and to his heart.
Bear in mind that both Zakhar Perez and Galitzine had been known for rom-coms with barebones reviews (The Kissing Booth of all things), so it’s safe to say that fans of their previous work were pleasantly surprised. Their supporting cast, including Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson, and Uma Thurman, are also incredible talents that paint a more vivid picture of the romantic leads’ environments. Unfortunately, not all book characters were adapted for the film, the primary reason why some fans urged for a series instead of a film.
The movie also has sex scenes that don’t shy away of showing what’s going where, which is uncommon even in LGBT+ films these days.
Not all is sunshine, roses and romantic trips to Paris for the audience, though.
The absence of some of these characters led to some narrative changes. Although this doesn’t detract from the viewing experience, it does leave some missed opportunities for characters that didn’t warrant an appearance and also makes the romance arc feel pressured. Most fans agree that they wanted to spend more time with Alex and Henry before wrapping up their story. Steamy sex scenes and the movie’s phenomenal photography (the museum scenes, anyone?) barely conceal the character’s rushed love arc, which borders on the Wattpad-esque at times. Due to its unbelievable development, and in spite of the actors’ chemistry, fans expressed a desire for a series adaptation instead of a movie.
Regardless, Red White & Royal Blue remains one of the most beautiful LGBT+ films ever made, for its simplicity and celebration of positive portrayals of gay relationships. It defies boundaries and proudly displays the power of love as its core value.
Series or no, the book is the light hearted, feel-good romantic fantasy many people would’ve enjoyed in their teenage years and one that can be appreciated by all members of the LGBT+ community for years to come.