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Taylor Watches Rom-Coms Vol. 6
The good, the bad, and the red, white, and blue.
Welcome back to Taylor Watches Rom-Coms! It’s Election Day (in America, anyway), so if you have the day off (or even if you don’t… I won’t judge what you do when you work from home…), sit back and enjoy these political picks. There’s a little bit of everything here, and we’ve even ventured beyond America, so there’s no excuse not to get involved.
While you’re watching, be sure to check your voter registration status! Make sure you’re ready to vote in this election or the next and make your voice heard!
First Daughter (2004)
Samantha MacKenzie, the daughter of the president of the United States, arrives at college with a group of Secret Service agents. Samantha, however, resents their presence and decides she wants to attend school just like a normal student. Her father agrees to recall the agents but secretly assigns James, an undercover agent, to pose as a student. They fall in love, but their romance is jeopardized when Samantha learns James’ true identity.
If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I LOVE the "First Daughter who can’t experience normal life" trope¹. Why do I like it? I honestly don’t know. I work in D.C. and these movies are always painfully inaccurate in just about every way. But I can’t get enough!
Katie Holmes plays First Daughter Samantha MacKenzie and she really is America’s Sweetheart in this. Her parents? Michael Keaton and Margaret Colin - who you may know as Blair’s mom on Gossip Girl. Chef’s kiss.
This movie is not perfect - it's a 2004 rom-com. But I have to say, there’s a twist that I literally fell hook, line, and sinker for, so you have that to look forward to if you’ve never seen this flick!
Red, White, & Royal Blue (2023)
After an altercation between Alex, the president’s son, and Britain’s Prince Henry at a royal event becomes tabloid fodder, their long-running feud now threatens to drive a wedge in U.S./British relations. When the rivals are forced into a staged truce, their icy relationship begins to thaw and the friction between them sparks something deeper than they ever expected.
This movie is a two-for-one! British politics AND American politics! You’re welcome, British readers.
Okay, I want to preface this review by acknowledging that I have not read the book and therefore cannot say whether or not this is a good adaptation of it. That said…
If you want to truly forget about the state of the world and dive into a world adjacent to our own that is much more accepting, open, and kind than our own - then this is the movie for you. Definitely more rom than com, this film is give-you-a-cavity sweet, (and also pretty smutty if that’s your vibe— no judgment here!) This movie is for the optimist, the lover, and the hopeless romantic, not necessarily for the realist or someone who yells at their tv going, “that would never actually happen!”
Not just your average rom-com, I would say this is a good pick for Election Day because there are pretty decent chunks of campaign strategy and political discussion in here.
Coming to America (1988)
Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York, to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.
Okay, so we’ve covered American politics, British Politics, and now we’ve arrived at…fictional African politics! Okay, okay - admittedly, this one is a bit of a stretch on the theme, but the truth is, my co-worker insisted I check it out and I just couldn’t say no!
I feel like the last person on Earth to see this and I can see why it’s such a fan favorite. It has a little bit of everything: excellent humor from comedic legends, an absolutely stacked cast (when you have Cuba Gooding Jr. as “Boy Getting Haircut,” you know it’s about to be chock full of legends), and a touching romantic plot to bring it all home.
If you’re like me and still haven’t seen this film, what are you waiting for?
Credit: Each plot synopsis comes from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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