World politics might not be the most romantic backdrop for a rom-com, but Red, White & Royal Blue completely defies the odds to deliver audiences a not only fun and flirtatious romp but a truly heartwarming and modern take on the classic rom-com.
Based on the best-selling novel by Casey McQuiston, Red, White & Royal Blue is the story of two young rivals who also just so happen to be the sons of the President of the United States and a British prince. When a feud between the two puts a wedge in international relations, the two must come together and call a truce. However, the truce leads to something neither expected — a relationship.
Hoping to keep their relationship under wraps for fear of alienating one president’s constituency and angering the rest of the royal family, the men struggle with keeping their secret.
Alex Clarmont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez) is the son of two American politicians – President Ellen Clarmont (Uma Thurman) and a Congressman. Like his parents, he’s got a passion for politics but his role in the First Family relegates him mostly to ceremonial assignments, like escorting guests to international weddings where, of course, Clarmont-Diaz finds himself in an embarrassing situation with Prince Henry.
While the setup is a rom-com trope at its finest, director Matthew Lopez seems to set off to give audiences a deeper, more ambitious story.
Aside from being a gay love story and portraying a very real feeling relationship on screen—something we don’t always see in rom-coms—the story also deftly dives into themes regarding race, culture, and kinship. What could easily have been a campy, almost comically Hallmark type of movie, actually feels deeper and more honest. Alex and Henry’s relationship is explicitly sexual, although it’s portrayed with respect. The couple also deals with the very real repercussions of class, culture, and society in relation to being both bisexual and gay and how that will affect the families’ public lives.
However, Red, White & Royal Blue is, in the end, still a fairytale. There is plenty of silliness, snarkiness, and sass to go around and many of the plot points are completely contrived – but that’s a-okay with us because, on a whole, this movie is sweet, funny, and heartwarming in all the right ways and just what an audience needs to get over the summertime blues.
Red, White, & Royal Blue is now streaming on Prime Video.