Red, White & Royal Blue Parent Guide
Both sincere and lighthearted, this is a competent romantic comedy with too much sex on screen.
Parent Movie Review
For Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), it was loathing at first sight towards Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine), the “spare” to the British throne. Insulted by the prince when they met at a conference, the President’s son has no time to waste on the pampered princeling. But when their mutual detestation results in an overturned wedding cake, a ruined royal wedding, and an international scandal, Alex’s personal feelings are irrelevant. His incensed mother demands that he return to England and feign a friendship with the prince, thus salvaging a US/Britain trade deal and (hopefully) her own re-election.
President Claremont gets more than she bargained for. As they fake it for the cameras, the First Son and His Royal Highness start to understand each other – and develop a friendship that deepens into something more.
One of the biggest challenges faced by romantic comedies is coming up with a believable barrier for a relationship. Although period romances can rely on class differences and arcane social rules to divide would-be lovers, it’s more difficult in our modern world to separate two people who are attracted to one another. Red, White & Royal Blue has leaped over this barrier – it’s easy to believe that a member of the British royal family could not come out of the closet and live as a gay man and it’s also credible that a president’s adult son would not want to publicly identify as bisexual during an election year. Having a painful obstacle at the center of the story gives this film more angst than is usually found in the rom-com world.
Don’t get the idea that this movie is otherwise different from the rest of the genre. In fact, it hits all the expected beats for every other rom-com I’ve seen - and does it extremely well. Aside from a couple of low budget sets and a few lines of clunky dialogue, this is a slick, smooth rom-com with some emotional heft and a few moments of laugh-out-loud humor. If you like your love stories served up with lots of heart, a heaping amount of cheese, and a whole lot of beefcake (tightly toned pecs and abs on screen as often as possible), this is for you.
On the other hand, those of you who prefer your (gay or straight) love stories to be high on romance and low on sex, will be disappointed. There are many scenes of the happy couple kissing and embracing, two scenes of implied oral sex and one very lengthy sex scene in bed (without visible genitals). Add in some rear buttock nudity, a lot of drinking and smoking, and a bit of profanity, and this film isn’t going to qualify for most family movie nights.
Genre fans will appreciate the script’s winks to classic novels Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre but might struggle to swallow some of its sillier moments – and Uma Thurman’s appalling Texas accent. I was annoyed by winter scenes clearly shot in the summer and nearly lost my mind at the idea that a British royal would be anywhere near an American election event. They’re not even allowed at their own country’s election events, for crying out loud. Could we stick a little closer to reality here?
I suspect I’m out of step with viewers when I complain about reality glitches because the rom-com genre isn’t rooted in reality. It’s about escape, and this sugary confection certainly provides plenty of that. If retreating to a world where gay relationships are widely accepted, politics are conducted with civility and rationality, and women govern both the United States and the United Kingdom, sounds like a great idea to you, I’m not going to stand in your way.
Directed by Matthew López. Starring Nicholas Galitzine, Taylor Zakhar Perez, Uma Thurman. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release August 11, 2023. Updated August 11, 2023
Watch the trailer for Red, White & Royal Blue
Red, White & Royal Blue
Rating & Content Info
Why is Red, White & Royal Blue rated 16+ (Amazon)? Red, White & Royal Blue is rated 16+ (Amazon) by the MPAA for some sexual content, partial nudity and language.
Violence: There is a scene of minor pushing and shoving. A frustrated woman hits a man with pillows.
Sexual Content: There are repeated scenes of men kissing and embracing each other – sometimes clothed; sometimes not. There is no explicit nudity but topless men are frequently seen in sexual and non-sexual contexts. There are two scenes of implied oral sex and an extended sex scene in bed with out graphic detail. There is a scene of male buttock nudity in a non-sexual context. Characters discuss being gay and bisexual. A parent has a frank discussion about protection against sexually transmitted diseases. There is a slang reference to masturbation. There is a coded mention of oral sex and genital size. A museum collection contains statues that depict naked people, including breasts and genitals.
Profanity: The script contains a single sexual expletive, a half dozen anatomical terms and scatological curses. There are also a couple of minor profanities and a handful of slang terms for male genitalia.
Alcohol / Drug Use: People frequently drink alcohol at parties. A main character gets very intoxicated while trying to self-medicate his emotions with alcohol. A main character says that he’s been drunk for a week. An adult drinks alcohol straight from the bottle. Adult characters are seen smoking cigars and cigarettes.
Page last updated August 11, 2023
Related home video titles:
Royal romances are a staple of movie plots. In The Prince & Me, a Danish royal falls in love with an American pre-med student, leading her to rethink her life’s goals. Following the formula are A Christmas Prince, The Royal Treatment, andChristmas with a Prince. For a darker look at the challenges of royal/commoner relationships, you can try the Norwegian film, Royalteen.
Gay rom-coms are a sub-genre all their own – although they hew closely to the tried-and-true rom-com formula. If you’re looking for family-friendly LGBTQ love stories, you can watch The Half of It, The Prom, Single All the Way, and Anything’s Possible.