Director Matthew López (The Inheritance) has brought Casey McQuiston’s critically acclaimed New York Times Best Seller from page to screen in his directorial debut, Red, White, and Royal Blue.
The fast paced Amazon Prime film finds Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the son of the President of the United States (Uma Thurman) visiting London for a Royal Wedding. However, Alex and Britain’s Prince Henry’s (Nicholas Galitzine) mutual disdain for each other creates waves overseas, leading to a disastrous and quite messy altercation. With an upcoming United States election on the line, the families stage a “truce” between the two rivals. In a heartwarming 180 degree turn of events, the rivalry turns to affection, as the two secretly fall for each other in a classic forbidden love tale, with a modern-day twist.
This love story escapes anticipated cheesiness with its smart, authentic, and often very funny writing from screenwriters López and Ted Malawer. The conversations between Alex and Henry, and their families never feel contrived and we see genuine conversational and visual exchanges. The film creatively utilizes on-screen graphics and like Emily in Paris, text conversations and social media posts float on the screen, behind and around the characters bringing the viewer into the story as it unfolds.
Recognizing its audience and plot, the film addresses how politics, immigration, and societal expectations factor into Alex and Prince Henry’s storylines, especially as queer men.
It is refreshing and hopeful to see a more positive response to coming out on screen. As Alex hesitantly enters the Oval Office, the audience, and Alex, brace themselves for the expected ostracism from his Mom, and are instead pleasantly surprised as Alex is greeted lovingly with open arms and pizza.
However, the film does acknowledge Alex’s journey as a privilege (one day, hopefully, the norm), as he comes out on his own terms. Despite his title, comparatively Prince Henry is not as privileged and is robbed of the opportunity to come out on his own terms and timeline, due to a devious reporter.
“The world will know me for who I am, not who they want me to be,” the Prince proclaims when he is forced to come out to his grandfather (Stephen Fry).
The film also features performances from Clifton Collins Jr., Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson, Ellie Bamber, Thomas Flynn, Malcolm Atobrah, Akshay Khanna, Sharon D Clarke, Aneesh Sheth, and Juan Castano.
As Prince Henry would say, this is one of the “Swooniest movies of all time.”
Whether you’ve indulged in the book or not, you will enjoy this heartwarming film.
Red, White, and Royal Blue is now streaming on Amazon Prime.