There are three types of rom-coms. Or, at least, three good types of rom-coms worth talking about. There are the ones you watch once and more or less enjoy but quickly put out of your mind once they’re over. Then there are the ones you really like, the ones you might casually tell your friends about and might even re-watch if you’re feeling particularly sentimental.
But the third kind, that’s the rare one. It’s made up of the type of rom-coms you almost want to re-watch before they’re even over. The rare movie that you cannot stop thinking about after you’ve watched it, the one you’d read countless fanfics about. You know, the kind you don’t just casually mention to people, but basically become a personal cheerleader for.
That’s what Red, White & Royal Blue is: the perfect rom-com. Not the perfect LGBTQ+ rom-com, no — though it is that too. Instead, the magic of the movie is that it manages mass appeal while still staying rooted in two characters whose personal journeys are very much defined by their queerness. The movie never tries to pretend it’s anything but what it is, and yet it manages to tell a charming, relatable story of two young men just trying to find their way in the world.
Two very privileged men, but that’s neither here nor there. There’s a level of escapism to the First Son and Prince Harry-wannabe pairing that sorta works in this fantasy setting. And truly, Stephen Fry should be the King of England in real life. Plus, Democrats should really win Texas at this point. They never do, and if the Election ever comes down to Texas, everyone is rightly writing that concession speech.
Ironically, that ends up being the most unbelievable part in a movie that exists less in a fantasy world and more in the world we wish we lived in — and the world we need for a rom-com. Both Alex and Henry are accepted by their families when they come out, even if Henry’s family takes a bit more convincing (royalty, what can I say?). It feels like the issue of their coming out and the public reception to their relationship is a little too neatly wrapped up by the end, but no one is really complaining. That’s the movie we signed up for, and Red, White & Royal Blue understands the assignment perfectly.
Sometimes, we just want to believe that the President of the United States is going to try to amend her “talk” with her son to include being safe while having sex with a man. We want to believe that the worst angst a couple like Alex and Henry can face is the internal one that comes not with the idea of loving each other but loving each other in a world that expects something else of you.
And we want to believe that when you have the kind of chemistry Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine display in this movie, well …you can figure anything out. All you need is to be in the same room and be willing to communicate.
No, but seriously, how did all those people miss what was going on for such a long period of time? The only person being more obvious than Henry was Alex.
Red, White & Royal Blue is the kind of rom-com that makes you believe that somewhere out there, there is someone for you too. There’s no bigger compliment for the genre than that. Although, perhaps, there’s this — it’s also the kind of rom-com that begs a second, third, and even fourth re-watch.
Red, White & Royal Blue is available to stream now on Prime Video.