“Red, White, And Royal Blue”, a novel by Casey McQuiston, found a viral fanbase on a particular side of TikTok. BookTok, on which creators often share reviews of their favorite books or discuss their dream casting in movie versions of their favorite books, picked up the novel. The book tells the tale of the fictional bisexual son of the first female U.S. president falling in love with one of the British crown’s princes.
The escapist gay rom-com captured the hearts of readers both for its writing and its LGBTQ+ representation. The novel was adapted into a film, which was released on Amazon Prime Video this week. The film is receiving praise from both readers and film buffs alike. The adaptation stars Taylor Zakhar Perez as the American Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as British Prince Henry. Acclaimed actress Uma Thurman plays Diaz’s mother, the fictional president.
Perez appeared in the final installment of Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth” franchise, and Galitzine starred in another book-to-screen adaptation for the streamer, “Purple Hearts.”
Social Media Reactions
Many first time viewers admired the humorous quips and references to real-life political issues in both the U.S. and the U.K., of course, coupled with the love story. There were several humorous digital culture references as well, including PopCrave’s popular X account.
Pop Crave stuns in their cinematic debut for ‘Red White & Royal Blue’ on Prime Video https://t.co/jRAuGWa38f
— Brooklyn (@bklynb4by) August 11, 2023
Others were simply happy to see queer joy depicted in the mainstream media.
watching red, white and royal blue just seeing gay people happy… love my life. it's amazing. pic.twitter.com/ULBGr9R6r4
— 🐬 (@schnabe1tier) August 11, 2023
Others applauded the positive bisexual representation surrounding Perez’ character. Bisexuality has a complex history of negative depictions in popular media, and seeing a bisexual character in a committed relationship gave some hope for further progress.
red white and royal blue is for the girlies that wanna watch wholesome fun romance. when you just wanna have a nice time. they are cute!! and i loveeed the bisexual representation 💜💙
— val (@valbaseotto) August 11, 2023
Elsewhere, some joked that the love stories in the also recently released “Heartstopper” coupled with this film were overwhelming.
me watching heartstopper and red white & royal blue the same week pic.twitter.com/yktXobp5sc
— iqa (@LOEYSAN) August 11, 2023
Nicholas Galitzine is especially receiving praise for his acting range. The actor has notably portrayed both straight and gay characters in a number of different films.
I was thinking about this all while watching Red, White & Royal Blue like how is that the same guy 😭 pic.twitter.com/xDje1455x4
— paul (@paulswhtn) August 11, 2023
The BookTok Verdict
Readers of the original book were overall pleased with the film adaptation. Many felt that the actors did a great job of bringing some of their favorite characters to life, and that the production largely stays true to its source material.
red white and royal blue was adapted so well from the book to the movie. in my opinion they made really great choices with which parts to keep in and which parts they had to leave out. i understand they couldn't fit every part in but they did such a good job with it
— noah diana ꩜♡･☾*:･ﾟ✧ (@urmushroomgf) August 11, 2023
Many continue to applaud the story’s overall happy undertones, and Henry’s positive coming out experience.
Please can we keep having LGBT+ movies and series like Red, White & Royal Blue, and Heartstopper? I'm TIRED of coming out stories [being the entire plot], bully-to-lovers trope, somebody dying, or worst case, period pieces where someone ends up hanging from a tree. I'M TIRED!
— OG🍒 (@ogchkwjnws) August 12, 2023
The film currently sits at an 80% critical score and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Prior to recent years, few romantic-comedy films included LGBTQ+ characters with fully fleshed out storylines. Some of the genres most famous films, “When Harry Met Sally”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “10 Things I Hate About You”, and “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”, all center around straight couples’ narratives, occasionally including queer supporting characters.
It’s officially out. Go watch history be made. ❤️
— Red, White & Royal Blue Updates (@RWRBNews) August 11, 2023
The film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, sitting at the top spot of the biggest releases on the streamer this week.