“Red, White & Royal Blue” Review

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Mon Aug 14 2023
Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry and Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz in Prime Video's “Red, White & Royal Blue.” Photo Credit

Written by Ray Kirsch

History, huh? Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez certainly made some on August 11, 2023 when the film “Red, White & Royal Blue” was released on Amazon Prime Video. 

Based on Casey McQuiston's novel “Red, White & Royal Blue,” this film follows the blossoming romance between Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the first female President of the United States, and Prince Henry, a British Prince. Alex (played by Zakhar Perez) and Henry (played by Galitzine) originally met at a conference and ended up on the wrong foot, secretly despising each other. They meet again at a royal wedding, where they cause a scandal and have to repair it by pretending to be good friends. 

All-in-all, it's a cheesy, somewhat-predictable movie. But for the sake of those who may have never heard of it, I won't spoil the rest of the plot. There is a happy ending, though; I'll spoil that much. 

Receiving a 81% tomatometer and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, many find this movie to be humorous, romantic and escapist. However, many viewers who had previously read the book had differing opinions. 

A clear part of the film was the lack of June, Alex's sister, who did not have a character in the movie. Additionally, Alex's parents were not divorced in the movie like they were in the book. Many characters, side plots and scenes are not in the movie, which I personally can understand with it only being around two hours. However, I still missed June's character. 

The emails between Alex and Henry, which are a vital part of the book and the larger plotline, are not as prominent in the movie. They are only briefly referenced, and the severity of them being leaked is not as highlighted in the movie because of it. 

Those critiques are my main ones. I did enjoy some of the adaptions — like Alex saying “History, huh? I bet we could make some.” verbally rather than via email — and found myself excitedly watching along. 

When the casting was originally published, many were weary about the chemistry between Galitzine and Zakhar Perez. I, too, was nervous about the casting, especially with how older the actors are than the characters. I would argue that there definitely was not a lack of chemistry between the two, though. 

The sparks and intimacy between the two were undeniable, especially if you've never read the book and are new to the plot entirely. Yes, parts are cheesy and arguably cringey, but the love that the two share is obvious. I was pleasantly surprised by Galitzine's acting in particular, as he (as Henry) was practically sending Alex heart eyes at every scene. 

There were some initiate scenes between Henry and Alex which I believed were well-coordinated. However, after a second watch, I would've rather seen another scene drawn-out than those in particular. There are so many plotlines that it likely was hard to pick which scenes stayed or got scrapped. 

I was giddily smiling throughout the movie, especially when Alex and Henry were becoming comfortable with each other and falling in love. My personal favorite scenes of the movie were when Zahra found out about the two and when the couple visited the museum in the middle of the night. And my all-time favorite scene, which you will not understand unless you have watched the film, is when Henry was singing karaoke and pointed to Alex, who just happily waved. 

The chemistry is there, and I believe that if you haven't read the book, you won't even notice parts from the original storyline are missing. There is enough plot — and more than enough scenes — to create a full story for a film. 

One thing I personally would have loved to see from the filmmakers was to make this a series rather than a movie. If it was a series, we could've seen a lot of side plotlines and gotten to know more about the characters around Alex and Henry. 

Regardless of my critiques on the film, I still thoroughly enjoyed watching it and have categorized it as one of my comfort queer movies. It has been three days since its release, and I have watched it two times already. I expect to watch it several more times because of how blissfully happy the ending is. 

I would recommend this to anyone wanting a light-hearted, queer-centric film. If you've read the book, you may be disappointed, but I encourage you to look at it through an open lens and simply appreciate the chemistry.

Overall rating: 3.5/5