Red, White & Royal Sex

“I went to an English boarding school, dear.
Trust me – you’re in good hands.” 

The Prince’s response to his inexperienced Yank in Red, White and Royal Blue.

At long last, my impressions of Red, White and Royal Blue.  The Amazon Prime flick is based on the New York Times Best Selling novel of the same name.  Full disclosure – I have not read the book.  But one colleague described it as the Hallmark version of Paul Rudnick’s Playing the Palace – which I enjoyed very much.  Both owe a debt of gratitude to Political Animals, which starred Sebastian Stan as the gay son of a US President (also produced by Greg Berlanti).  The writing of this film is short on subtlety.  Calling the Prince of England “Your royal hardness” or “Little Lord Fuckleroy” might seem cute on paper, but is cringeworthy when spoken aloud.  It was directed by Matthew López, who wrote the award-winning play The Inheritance – and if that isn’t a downward career trajectory, I don’t know what is!  While there are the occasional good moments in his work, all of a sudden you get a shot of the Washington Monument or the Eiffel Tower after the sex scene – oooh, how clever!  In an interview, Matty made a point of saying how vital it was to get a shot of the prince’s face during the “moment of insertion” – yes, that’s the term he used.  I bet you won’t find something like that in a Candace Cameron Bure flick!

I don’t think it’s too early to announce the winner of the Worst Accent in a Made-for-TV Movie will be Uma Thurman as the Texas-born US President.  My God, it’s like a bus and truck tour of The Ann Richards Story!  That said, her character handles her son’s coming-out beautifully, if not believably.  You see, believability has nothing to do with movies in the Hallmark/Lifetime vein.  They are all hampered with a formula and a deliberate style of acting, which I really abhor.  This film is not helped by a soundtrack straight out of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons!  And speaking of animals, has a dog ever appeared less excited when its master came home from an overseas trip?  The Prince’s pup did everything but yawn – which I assume will be in the outtakes!

Aside from the egregious Uma, the acting is acceptable.  Taylor Zakhar Perez, who plays Uma’s son, is delightfully delicious and is quite believable…when he’s not mugging (mostly limited to the first 10 minutes).  Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince is somewhat blander, but likeable enough.  They have chemistry and varying degrees of attractiveness in their corner.  If the idea of a fairytale ending has not been beaten out of you by reality, then you might really enjoy this flick.  But I kept thinking how much more interesting it would have been if the President had been a Republican.  Anyhoo, like Mary Todd Lincoln said long before me – all in all, it was entertaining.


If Red, White and Royal Blue whet your appetite for more middling gay made-for-TV fare, you won’t have to wait long.  The Hallmark Channel has announced Notes for Autumn will air on September 16th.  This film is about a classical pianist (Ashley Williams) who needs a break from her city life.  Her gay best friend is an author with writer’s block (Luke Macfarlane) who needs a break from his life in the wilderness.  They decide to swap homes…and hilarity ensues, I’m sure.  Luke becomes entangled with his new neighbor, played by the dashing Peter Porte.  I dunno anything else, except I feel safe in predicting we won’t see a single “moment of insertion”.

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