Prime Video's adaptation of Casey McQuiston's Red, White & Royal Blue is arsenic fluffy and saccharine arsenic the archetypal novel, but that doesn't mean determination aren't immoderate major differences betwixt the publication and the film.
Directed by Matthew López, the movie inactive focuses connected the narration betwixt Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry of Wales (Nicholas Galitzine). What begins arsenic a contentious rivalry soon develops into an planetary romance, with some Alex and Henry struggling to support their nationalist personas portion keeping their emotion a secret.
As with immoderate adaptation, Red, White & Royal Blue makes a fewer tweaks present and there. For example, alternatively of archetypal gathering each different astatine the 2016 Olympics successful Rio arsenic they bash successful the book, the movie versions of Alex and Henry archetypal met astatine a clime league successful Melbourne. Both characters person besides been aged up, arsenic Henry is present afloat successful instrumentality schoolhouse alternatively of undergrad.
However, these are comparatively tiny changes. What's astir absorbing present are Red, White & Royal Blue's biggest deviations from the book, similar removing oregon adding full characters. How bash these shifts change quality dynamics and crippled arcs? And, astir importantly, bash they enactment successful the discourse of the film? Let's dive in, and instrumentality a look astatine the 5 biggest changes betwixt McQuiston's caller and López's film.Has anyone seen June Claremont-Diaz?Someone is missing!
Right disconnected the bat, the movie mentation of Red, White & Royal Blue is missing a large character: Alex's large sister, June Claremont-Diaz. She, Alex, and the Vice President's granddaughter Nora Holleran (Rachel Hilson) marque up the high-powered "White House Trio." More than that, though, June is simply a large supportive beingness successful Alex's life. She encourages him to deliberation beyond what their mother, President Ellen Claremont (Uma Thurman), asks of them, and she adjacent pretends to day Henry erstwhile the media suspects Alex and Henry's relationship.
In the movie, June has been chopped completely, with Nora taking connected immoderate parts of her relation — including her romance with Henry's champion person Percy Okonjo (Malcolm Atobra). Notably, the movie makes nary notation of Nora and Henry's in-book romanticist history. The 2 dated earlier deciding to conscionable beryllium friends, but their comfortableness with each different leads to the 2 of them sharing a joking buss connected New Year's Eve, close successful beforehand of a jealous Henry. (In the movie's New Year's Eve sequence, Alex gets kissed by 2 unnamed women.)
If you were coming into Red, White & Royal Blue without having work the book, you wouldn't announcement June's lack astatine all: Nora fills successful the relation of champion person and confidant nicely. However, publication fans volition surely miss her quips and her tight-knit enslaved with Alex, arsenic good arsenic the dynamic of the full White House Trio.Red, White & Royal Blue features immoderate very different household dynamics.Not the champion circumstances for gathering anyone's family.
With the omission of June, it's lone earthy that the Claremont-Diaz household dynamic changes a little. For starters, there's little of the challenging propulsion and propulsion betwixt Ellen and June, who refuses to enactment connected her mother's reelection run truthful arsenic not to jeopardize her journalistic ambitions. In the film, Ellen is wholly focused connected Alex but seemingly little consenting to impact him successful argumentation matters until she gets upwind of his Texas Memo (a full binder successful the book, due to the fact that Alex is thing if not extra). Also, crucially, Ellen and Alex's begetter Oscar Diaz (Clifton Collins Jr.) are not divorced successful the movie, meaning that there's nary hostility betwixt the two, and 1 little stressor for Alex. Like with June's removal, cutting the divorcement (and Alex's stepdad Leo) streamlines the communicative for the screen.
Shifting household dynamics are besides astatine play successful Red, White & Royal Blue's instrumentality connected the Royals. Henry's parent Catherine ne'er appears, truthful we don't get the country wherever she fundamentally blackmails Queen Mary into letting Henry spell nationalist with Alex. We besides don't get Queen Mary astatine all! She's been replaced with a King (Stephen Fry), apt successful an effort to lessen immoderate comparisons to Queen Elizabeth. (Don't worry, the King plays the aforesaid relation successful the movie arsenic Mary does successful the books.)
The quality who suffers astir successful this modulation is Princess Bea (Ellie Bamber). In McQuiston's novel, we larn astir Bea's anterior struggles with addiction — earning her the nickname "Powder Princess" — and her consequent foundation work. Like June, she proves a fantastic enactment strategy for her brother, lasting up for him and encouraging his relationship. Unfortunately, successful the movie, she feels much similar a cardboard cutout of a generic supportive sister, with nary of the grit of her publication counterpart.Red, White & Royal Blue gives america much of Henry's perspective.Sing it, Henry!
Red, White & Royal Blue is written from Alex's constituent of view, but the movie takes the leap from leafage to surface arsenic an accidental to amusement america immoderate cardinal events from Henry's perspective. For example, successful the moments starring up to Alex and Henry's gathering astatine the royal wedding, we perceive Henry archer Bea however irritating helium finds Alex — a speech paralleled by Alex's ain complaints to Nora. Henry adjacent criticizes the inordinate wedding expenses, specified arsenic a $75,000 barroom (a information June primitively pointed retired successful the novel). These moments, which are not successful the novel, let america to spot past the facade of Prince Henry earlier Alex does, giving america a amended thought of his existent quality close disconnected the bat.
The biggest usage of Henry's position comes erstwhile his and Alex's backstage email correspondences leak. Instead of learning astir the leak from Alex's constituent of view, arsenic we bash with everything successful the book, the movie shows america Henry's absorption first. It's a coagulated alteration that hammers successful Henry's devastation arsenic helium realizes that what small privateness helium thought helium had arsenic Prince has been wholly shattered.Rafael Luna is obscurity to beryllium found.Where's your buddy, Alex?
Joining June successful the chopped quality nine is Rafael Luna, an openly cheery Latino legislator from Colorado who Alex views arsenic a relation model. Rafael plays a pivotal relation successful the book's mentation of the 2020 election, supporting Republican Senator Jeffrey Richards' bid for President. It's a large betrayal for the full Claremont-Diaz family, disillusioning Alex successful the process.
Of each the adaptation changes Red, White & Royal Blue makes, the removal of Rafael hurts it the most. Alex loses a mentor figure, and we suffer the communicative of his relationship with an older queer man, who has been done a just stock of difficulties himself. (Like being sexually harassed and past blackmailed by Richards, who is barely in the movie anyway, and acold little Trumpian.) The movie does effort to regenerate Rafael with a caller character, Miguel (Polo Morín), but the alteration is messy and ends up dulling the climax.Miguel changes Red, White & Royal Blue's full 3rd act.Look astatine the harm Miguel did.
A quality created wholly for the film, Miguel is simply a governmental writer and erstwhile spouse of Alex. Think of him arsenic a mash-up of Rafael and Liam, Alex's person from precocious schoolhouse who helium utilized to hook up with. In the film, it's Miguel who's liable for leaking Alex and Henry's emails — whereas successful the books, Rafael learns that the Richards run orchestrated the hack. He past leaks it to the press, a determination that sows disfavor for Richards and helps Ellen triumph reelection.
However, successful the movie, Miguel faces nary consequences, nor does helium get immoderate Rafael-esque redemption arc. Instead, he's conscionable a sinister writer looking for a scoop astatine immoderate cost, portion Richards remains a inheritance subordinate who doesn't extremity up making overmuch impact.
That's wherever Rafael's lack and Miguel's summation enactment the least. In the book, learning that Richards was down the leak is simply a terrifying moment, 1 that solidifies the hack arsenic an insidious effort to retired 2 men — neither of whom is moving for bureau — and usage the pursuing ungraded to triumph an election. What reads arsenic an indictment of governmental abuses of powerfulness successful the caller becomes an indictment of an annoying writer successful the movie — a strangely anti-media crook made adjacent alien by cutting the book's aspiring journalist, June.
If anything, Miguel's engagement successful and motivations for the leak besides diminish the last messaging of Red, White & Royal Blue. This is simply a movie that is governmental by quality fixed the positions of its 2 leads. Yet successful removing wide governmental information from the leak and pinning it connected a petty ex, it fails to marque arsenic impactful of a connection arsenic it could have.
Red, White & Royal Blue is present streaming connected Prime Video.