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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Sparks fly in smash summer rom-com

A screen still from the movie “Red, White & Royal Blue.” The movie is based on the novel by Casey McQuinston and can be watched on Amazon Prime. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

Amazon Prime painted our hearts “Red, White and Royal Blue” this summer as the popular streaming service delivered a heartfelt gay romantic comedy, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston.  

In these decisive times, authentic stories matter; that’s why this film’s modern take on the classic lovers trope with two male leads was so important. This added a dynamic and fresh take on the genre of romantic comedy. 

The chemistry between the two main characters- the U.S. president’s son Alex, played by Taylor Zakhar Perez, and the British Prince Henry, played by actor Nicholas Galitzine- was palpable. 

The plot itself was very indicative of common romantic comedies. First they met, they didn’t get along, then shenanigans happened and then they fell in love. While this story was simple, the actors themselves elevated the film with their nuanced performances.  

At times somewhat sensual, the movie was perfectly balanced between being authentic and giving the audience something to enjoy. 

I loved the stolen looks and funny banter between Alex and Henry. The men’s attraction to each other created many amusing situations like getting caught making out in a library or describing their sexualities. 

One of my favorite lines came from these moments. Alex came out to Henry as bisexual and then asked Henry if he’s comfortable sharing his sexuality in return. I really liked this asking for permission, as it gave Henry the choice of opening up rather than being demanded to come out. Henry thought for a moment then proudly declared “I’m gay as a maypole.” This line made me laugh so hard. The relationship felt so real and relatable, and I appreciated that.  

The two actors really gave great performances, such as when Alex and Henry went ‘all the way’ for the first time. It felt very real, as you could sense Alex’s nervousness in the situation as he had never gone this far with a man before. It was realistic, discussing who is doing what is very crucial when two men have sex. Henry was gentle as he guided Alex through a tender and loving moment.  

Besides the two leads, Uma Thurman also gave a stunning performance as the President of the United States. Having a woman POTUS was very refreshing to see, even though it meant putting up with Thurman’s southern drawl, as her character is supposed to have come from Texas. 

One very touching moment was when Alex came out to his mother. Thurman perfectly portrayed a very supportive and loving mother. She picked up the phone and then ordered pizza so they could talk. It was very touching. 

I laughed when Thurman talked about making a PowerPoint and then talked to Alex about safe sex.

In the end, while a bit cheesy at times, I think the movie did a great job of giving a believable and loving story.

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