Thursday 14 September 2023

Red White and Royal Blue

I know what you're thinking. He's been watching more gay romance, hasn't he?

Well, yes, yes I have.

Following on from my enduring enjoyment of both series one and two of Heartstopper, I finally got round to watching Red White & Royal Blue. These light-hearted gay romance movies and shows are now becoming a more accepted and common feature in the schedules of major streaming companies and this is Amazon at it's very best. That such a movie can go right to the top of their streaming viewership is no longer a surprise.

I haven't read the best-selling book that the movie is based on yet, but I do intend to and it has been on my radar for a little while. No doubt there are changes from one medium to another, but this is true with all adaptations and one needs to learn to roll with it.

I get that the whole enemies to lovers trope has probably been played a little too much over the years, but it is a tried and true method to introduce just enough drama into a movie and here, although it is managed with maybe just a little too much lightness, it does work well. From the outright antagonism of their first on-screen encounter at the wedding it does seem to move towards grudging acceptance of each other just a little too quickly for me. I can accept that the movie needs to move the story along, but I would like to see them struggle a little harder to find common ground.

The big take-away from the film, though, is that movies can now show gay couples being intimate without it appearing to be anything other than loving and enjoyable for all concerned. The fact that they can do this while maintaining a 12 rating (though possibly only just and rated by Amazon) is even more of a positive. When so much of the world is moving in the wrong direction on LGBTQ+ rights, it is wonderful to see modern media in the west just getting on with it.

What is also made clear as the plot progresses is that for many people, that fear of leaving the closet is a very real and deeply affecting one. I have to admit to being able to relate to this in a very personal way and perhaps this is what makes this sort of movie a delight for me in my latter years. That continuing feeling that I would have lived a better life if the portrayal of gay relationships in the media were like they are now when I was much younger never leaves me. It is tempered by a hope that, for young people who now do have the opportunity to see such endearing and uplifting work, they can gain strength and comfort from seeing excellent representation in the media.

Ultimately, everyone enjoys a happy ending and Red White & Royal blue delivers where it counts.

It is available to stream on Amazon Prime HERE.