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Prime Video's Red White and Royal Blue adaptation is not nearly as bad as its trailer

Sure, it's your regular romance fare, but what's wrong with that?

Two leads from RWRB covered in cake
Image credit: Prime Video

I don't hate watch often. Sure, I can enjoy a terrible movie from time to time, but usually if something looks bad, I just skip it. I felt differently about Red, White, and Royal Blue, however: though the trailer looked weirdly shot and lit, and I couldn't quite buy the chemistry of the leads, I had enjoyed the book when I read it years ago and try to make it a point to keep an eye on queer media. So last night, I buckled down with a hope that I could at least make it through ten minutes, and to my surprise, it was actually pretty okay.

Is Red, White, and Royal Blue a masterpiece romance that is going to insert itself into the classics? No. But is it any worse than your standard Hallmark-esque romance fair? Also no! While the movie did seem to squander some of the more interesting themes it introduced - especially with the two young men and their differing public roles and what that might mean for their relationship - the movie did a perfectly servicable job of building up the classic frustrations that come with odd-pair romances. Sure, the dialogue is horrendous at times, and the situations the characters find themselves in are downright silly. Yes, the sets look cheap, and the costumes are... well.

However, people who enjoy this realm of romance movie are likely to have a good time with this one. Though I'd argue that some of that music budget (there were shockingly big songs for a movie like this) could have gone to wardrobe or even to the set (there's a formal party Alex throws that looks like a high school dance), I do have to ask myself - does that stuff even matter for a movie like this?

As happy chatter on social media from fans shows, not really.

Red, White, and Royal Blue is now available for streaming on Prime Video.

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Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.