Red , White and Royal Blue – PRIME


Published in 2019 Red White and Royal Blue was Casey McQuiston’s book that became something of a publishing phenomena becoming a best seller and it is writer and director Matthew Lopez who has co-written an adaptation for Prime.

It’s a love story that fits the rom-com template but the difference here is that it’s a love story between Alex Claremont Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez) the First Son of POTUS and the British Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine)  the  heir to the throne who initially have an understandable  dislike for one another. Alex is the archetypal brashly arrogant US frat boy whereas Henry is a supercilious and condescending privileged aristocrat and their dislike for each other seems assured when at an official party the pair have a tussle in front of a giant tiered cake ending with it collapsing on them and their faces covered in cream – (‘Do NOT make the joke we know you want to make!’ –Ed).

With the picture splashed all over the world’s press their PR teams set up a damage limitation exercise with photo ops and meet & greets are the order of the day with the World’s press frequently in attendance but it’s not long before their fake friendship evolves into something different altogether and It soon becomes clear that each have been hiding their sexuality from the public and probably themselves and its Henry who makes the first move and a secret romance develops. It’s further complicated by Alex’s Mum (Uma Thurman), who is the President (and surely leading Meghan Markle into mistaking this for a career template), is seeking re-election and its Alex who decides to target his mother’s pivotal home state and yet keeping his high profile romance under the radar. ’I can’t date the people I want to date!’ whines Prince Henry in much the same way as Prince Andrew must have told his own mother albeit for entirely different reasons.

As the two leads both Perez and Galitzine have a real chemistry and are believable as the covertly loved up couple. Lopez along with his co-writers McQuiston and Ted Malawar has scripted some neat one liners and waspish asides and have grasped typically British colloquialisms with more, ‘bell ends’ and ‘wankers’ being uttered than fans at a film premiere seeing reality stars and influencers walking up the red carpet although there are some inevitable Americanism’s that haven’t quite grasped British titles (Prince of England!).  It’s all shot by director Perez with some slyly amusing edits too with the Washington needle appearing after one of several sex scenes between the two leads. And the film, especially in the first half, has enough light humour to keep it moving along before the latter half sees its tone change to accommodate the love story template.

Red White and Royal Blue and its story of the most high profile people in the world keeping a gay relationship has all the plausibility of Brooklyn Beckham’s University Challenge application and is ultimately a bit of fluff. As an LGB love story it works well and there’s something endearing when Prince Henry finally tells his father ‘The world will know the real me! ‘ a  line uttered by a delusional  Prince Andrew before his Emily Maitlis interview began.

related feature: Australian gay drama ‘Of An Age’ reviewed

related feature: Tom Prior writes, produces and stars in the new film, ‘Firebird’ based on an incredible true story!

Director Matthew Lopez introduces the World premiere of the film in IMAX…..

Here’s the Red, White and Royal Blue trailer…..

Red, White and Royal Blue is released 11th August 2023


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