When it comes to the spectrum of people and personalities, you can’t get more different than Prince Henry in Red, White & Royal Blue and Jeff in Bottoms. They’re literal polar opposites, the prince is refined, kind, respectful, intelligent and royal. Meanwhile, Jeff is dumb, shallow, pouty and a cocky jock. However, somehow, these two guys are played by the same actor, Nicholas Galitzine, and the characters live in the worlds of two fantastic queer comedies on the 2023 movie schedule. So, with that in mind, I’m here to propose a double feature of epic proportions: Red, White & Royal Blue and Bottoms.
Picture a double feature with chaos levels that are almost on the same wavelength as Barbenheimer, and you’ll have the combo I’m suggesting. While it seems like Bottoms -- a comedy about two high school girls and longtime BFFLs who create a fight club at their school -- and Red, White & Royal Blue -- a rom-com about the prince of England and the first son of the United States falling in love -- don’t go together at all, they’re actually tied together by Galitzine. And let me tell you, the range he shows off in these two movies alone makes them worth watching back to back.
I think one of the most jarring viewing experiences I’ve had was finishing the wholesome and romantic Red, White & Royal Blue, agreeing with the lovely fan reactions, and then watching Bottoms, which punches through teen comedy tropes in a raunchy and violent way, a couple of weeks later.
I was coming off of watching Galitzine play the emotional core of a rom-com when I saw Bottoms. Prince Henry, while he has his funny moments, acts as the dramatic heartbeat of the movie. His falling in love with Alex and coming to terms with how to share his sexuality and love with the world is a very serious part of an overall light-hearted queer rom-com. Red, White & Royal Blue made me feel all the feels and reach for the tissues because it was so sweet. And then I saw Bottoms, which had me reaching for tissues for a totally different reason.
So, about two weeks after seeing RWRB (and rewatching RWRB) I trekked to the theater to see Bottoms. I was so excited to see Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri (two actresses I adore) lead the cast of Bottoms in a queer comedy all about girls creating a fight club. Also, after seeing the trailer for their film, I was intrigued by the idea of Galitzine, a typically dramatic actor, playing Jeff, the dumb, womanizing football player. I was genuinely shell-shocked by the whole movie in the best way, and I was laughing so hard I was crying. But, what was especially shocking was Jeff and the fact that the actor behind Prince Henry was playing him.
It was genuinely hard for me to comprehend that the man who portrayed Prince Henry and dramatically confessed his love to Alex was also the same dude who aggressively yelled this in Bottoms:
Shut up nerd, I fucked your mom.
In Bottoms, Galitzine also would occasionally just randomly yell his name – “Jeff!” – dramatically dance, and act like an immature jock in a hilariously obnoxious way. He committed fully to the bit with this dumb football player, and that alone is ultra funny. However, when you juxtapose it with his performance as Prince Henry, it becomes even better, and a great reason to see both films back to back.
Along with Galitzine’s performances being true highlights of both films, these two movies are also fantastic queer comedies that deserve as many viewers as possible. One is all about two men falling in love, and figuring out how to share that love with the world. While the other tells the horney story of two lesbians who start a fight club to get with girls, but it ends up being a sweet commentary on female friendship and becoming comfortable with one's sexuality. So, do yourself a favor and go check out Bottoms and Red, White & Royal Blue as soon as you can, and make it a double feature if possible.
While you can do this double feature in whatever order you’d like, I propose you start by streaming Red, White & Royal Blue with an Amazon Prime subscription and then go catch a late screening of Bottoms in theaters. You’ll go from Prince Henry to Jeff, which has a comedic juxtaposition you can’t fully appreciate until you’ve seen it in all its glory, and you’ll get to take in two of the best comedies of the summer!