This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
"Whilst Red, White and Royal Blue is sickeningly sweet and over the top, there is a heartfelt message in the ending, and some special moments."
BY ROMEY NORTON AUGUST 10, 2023
Red, White and Royal Blue is an American romantic comedy film directed by Matthew Lopez, who co-wrote it with Ted Malawer. The film is based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston and has had many viewers eagerly waiting for its arrival.
The film follows the story of a secret romance between the son of the President of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez) and the Prince of England Henry, (Nicholas Galitzine). The two young lovers are high profile, and have been embroiled in a feud since children. A silly brawl at a royal event turns into an international scandal, and the two have to work together to do some serious damage control. Their friendship turns into a love story, but if they come out it could have irreversible political consequences.
Red, White and Royal Blue as a whole is two hours of cheesy relationship drama, and certainly is made for those audiences who love tacky story-lines with no historical accuracy. This storyline is a forbidden love that must be kept secret, and they try to be clever with attempted political undertones. Some of the comedy is very tongue in cheek when it comes to the Royal family, American’s, wealth, and traditions, making it too on the nose for me. I’d call this film a romantic drama, rather than a romantic comedy, as it wasn’t funny. Even the drama aspect; what would happen if they made their relationship public, isn’t strong enough as a hook. Spoiler: Essentially, the story is that you have two good looking, privileged guys, having a secret affair, falling in love and then everyone accepts it in the end.
There are classic rom-com tropes used such as time standing still, partying scenes where alcohol helps fuel the decision making, and a dramatic break-up filled with sadness and dread that they’ll never work it out. Then a huge romantic gesture, like a girl standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her.
I will give credit to Claremont-Diaz - he has a charisma that oozes through the screen, and he compliments everyone he is in a scene with, but it’s not enough to make me ever want to watch this film again. Rachel Hilson also gives a good performance, as a supporting role, and helped give some scenes some depth.
A little saving grace in this film is the two A-listers they’ve managed to cast: Uma Therman and Stephen Fry, who are of course, fantastic in their roles. Therman is authoritative and understanding, and Fry demands respect, and commands the room.
Don’t get me wrong - whilst Red, White and Royal Blue is sickeningly sweet and over the top, there is a heartfelt message in the ending, and some special moments. I recommend watching if you like romantic movies, and have two hours to spare.