The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Red, White & Royal Blue Takes the Cake

Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez in Red, White & Royal Blue (2023). Courtesy of IMDb.

Every bookworm’s hope is for their favorite book to become a movie adaptation. With that hope though, comes the fear that Hollywood will do what they do best, and give the audience concern when it comes to the accuracy of the film. 

This became a reality with the book Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, about a love affair between the first son of the United States and the Prince of England. Many readers were excited for the movie they made in their heads to come to life. 

When Taylor Zakhar Perez was cast for Alex Claremont Diaz, the President’s son, along with Nicholas Galitzine, as Prince Henry, many observers were ready to speculate. They claimed the two actors lacked chemistry, however, the pair proved them wrong when the movie finally hit screens. 

As someone who had read the book prior to the release, I was ecstatic. I loved everything about the movie, the actors portraying Alex and Henry, and the teasers Amazon Prime released in early summer. 

Differences between the movie and the book were quite subtle in my opinion, which made the watch more enjoyable. The biggest difference I noticed was that Alex had a sister named June in the book, who was not included in the movie. I felt that in the book, June was a big part of Alex realizing and embracing his bisexuality. To see this change in the movie was different, but it did not sway me from enjoying it, due to Alex leaning on his best friend Nora in the movie, like he did in the book. 

   There were other small changes, like the king in the movie being a queen in the book, and Henry’s mother, playing a crucial role in the book, was not included in the movie. 

But the way their relationship was exposed to the public was a mix of the two. In the book, they were caught kissing through the front windshield of a car. The movie didn’t show that, but it did incorporate the email leaks, which became a vital part of the conflict of the story. 

I loved the character’s chemistry, much like in the book. They start off hating each other, but quickly that changes as they are forced to do damage control in a publicity stunt of a catastrophe caused by the two. I found myself coming back to rewatch the movie multiple times. To me, it became a comfort movie and a classic.

The opening credit sequence followed the introduction scene of the cake falling on them had “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts playing in the background. This reminded me of the classic romantic comedy intro in “10 Things I Hate About You,” and made the movie feel like a true 2000s romcom. 

I think when it comes to books, they are always better in terms of attention to detail and getting a better overall understanding. However, in this movie, the team successfully made it so I felt as though the characters I read had jumped out of the book into our world. 

When it comes to movie adaptations, the stakes are high. Countless examples have shown that. But it is safe to say that Red, White, & Royal Blue’s adaptation was beyond expectations. 

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About the Contributor
Bernell Bello, Editor-in-Chief
I enjoy editing and writing for the Pop Culture page and writing for the Feature page. Some of my interests are reading, watching “One Tree Hill”, and clothes shopping. My favorite quote is “You've got no reason to be afraid, you're on your own, kid,” by Taylor Swift. In the future, I will be juggling all of my passions and living my life to the fullest. (Class of 2024)

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