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Movie Review: Queer Representation in Lopez' 'Red,White & Royal Blue' Adaptation

By Olanrewaju O. Damzy

Director Matthew Lopez makes an impressive debut with the highly anticipated Red, White & Royal Blue, which hit the screens in August.

Photo: Red White & Royal Blue cover, Amazon Prime
Photo: Red White & Royal Blue, Amazon Prime

It's September, but thanks to Amazon Prime, it feels like Pride month again. Earlier last month, the long anticipated Red,White & Royal Blue was released, and the film has since then become the #1 movie worldwide on Prime Video. The groundbreaking LGBTQ+ film is already among Prime Video's top three most-watched romantic comedy films of all time and continues to spark conversation across social media everywhere.

Playwright, Matthew Lopez makes his impressive feature film directorial debut with the romantic comedy. Adapted from Casey McQuiston's 2019 novel, the movie follows the love story between the son of the U.S. president (Taylor Zakhar Perez) and a British prince (Nicholas Galitzine). Co-written by Lopez and Ted Malawer, it's a delightful tale of romance.

Lopez proves himself to be a cinematic magician in his creation of a safe world for the LGBTQAI+ community, in which they are represented without the forced heteronormative dynamics often visible in problematic, queer "boy love" stories. Instead, the characters are real, raw, vulnerable, and representative of real people and love stories.

Despite mixed reviews by media and industry professionals, the highly anticipated movie was well-received by the audience, drawing viewership from the LGBTQAI+ communities and beyond. In its wake, it has been observed that queer persons from/ in countries where being queer is criminalized, have delved in and become deeply involved with the conversation around the film.

So, regardless of reviews, it's clear that the representation is hugely appreciated by the large sections of the queer community. Amazon has seen a huge surge of new Prime membership sign-ups directly correlated to the film’s release, proving that queer stories are not only good for business, they are stories that audiences want to see more of. It shows that representation truly matters, and that it's important that the LGBTQAI+ community continues to receive the representation they deserve.

Reviews, comments, and opinions aside, one thing becomes clear: Red, White & Royal Blue takes its place on the shelf next to other great works like Young Royals, Heartstopper, and SKAM (season 3), all paving the way towards a more representative future for the big (and small) screen.

Happy Pride in September!


About the Author

Olanrewaju Oluwafemi Damzy is Yoruba. He is studying for his first degree in mass communication at the University of Benin, Nigeria. Damzy has always been an avid reader and lover of literature and it became natural for him to write when he began to fell burdened by the numerous stories around him. Damzy is concerned about writing the experiences of Queer people who live in Nigeria and how they navigate their sexuality. He also writes the stories that calls to him. he hopes to one day attend a creative writing workshop taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. When he's not writing, he's either reading, taking about feminism or doing one of the numerous things he likes.


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