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Is ‘The Concept of You’ Harry Types Fan Fiction?


Hayes Campbell, the dreamy protagonist of the brand new rom-com “The Concept of You,” has a bit in widespread with the mega pop star Harry Types:

  • Within the film, Hayes, performed by Nicholas Galitzine, is a member of August Moon, a boy band with tons of very ardent teen and tween lady followers. Types was a member of a boy band known as One Path. You’ve most likely heard of it.

  • Hayes is British. So is Harry Types.

  • Hayes ultimately quits his band and begins making soulful pop rock. So did Harry.

  • Hayes likes so far older ladies, and his relationship with a gallerist named Solène Marchand (Anne Hathaway) is the spine of the movie. Harry, too, has been concerned in tabloid-documented relationships with older ladies, most famously, the actress and director Olivia Wilde.

So does “The Concept of You” come off as an act of fan fiction? Bizarrely, no, even when the shadow of Types does loom giant over the entire challenge.

Loads of headlines have already described the film as “Harry Types fan fiction,” although Robinne Lee, the writer of the 2017 novel on which it’s primarily based, is often coy in interviews about whether or not the pop star impressed her e book.

“Impressed is a robust phrase,” Lee has stated. The writer, who can be an actress with levels from Yale and Columbia Regulation Faculty and maybe finest recognized for her appearances in movies like “Hitch” and “Fifty Shades Darker,” has described encountering “the face of a boy I’d by no means seen in a band I’d by no means paid consideration to” and pondering it was “artwork.” After the novel grew to become a viral sensation, Lee informed Vogue in 2020, “This was by no means purported to be a e book about Harry Types.” In a chunk for Time revealed this month, Lee argued that “assuming a novel with a fictional movie star in a relationship have to be primarily based on an current movie star — on this case, the web has determined, Harry Types — is unimaginative at finest and sexist at worst.”

She is definitely much less specific a few pop star connection than Anna Todd, whose “After” sequence of novels began explicitly as Types fan fiction on the platform Wattpad and have since been changed into a movie franchise. (It’s a path that could be acquainted to followers of “Fifty Shades,” which began as “Twilight” fan fiction.) Nevertheless, in contrast to “The Concept of You,” the “After” sequence has nothing to do with a boy band. The Harry of “After” is a university scholar named Hardin, however when the primary novel was revealed in 2014, the portrayal outraged some One Path lovers with the best way it turned Types into a nasty boy manipulating a younger girl. One 14-year-old Types fan informed The New York Occasions then: “The best way Harry on this e book is portrayed is disgusting.”

However, Types followers have embraced “The Concept of You” as textual content that may feed their obsession. Kayla Kleinman, a social media supervisor at Bookshop.org, was not a Types devotee when she first learn the novel, however grew to become one after ending it in the course of the pandemic. She felt “emotionally connected” to the e book, and wished the expertise of studying it to proceed, she stated in an interview. So she sought out Types’s music. “In my head it felt like a continuation of the story regardless that I very a lot knew that they weren’t,” she stated. “However to me that subsequent step was being like, ‘OK, I’m going to dive into this world as a factor to entertain myself.’” Now Kleinman has even gone to Harry Types concert events with a good friend she constituted of an “Concept of You” Fb group.

The novel, it’s price noting, does extra to differentiate between Harry and Hayes than the film does. In Lee’s model, Hayes is a boy from a complicated upbringing who put collectively August Moon himself. Within the movie, which was tailored by the director Michael Showalter and his co-writer Jennifer Westfeldt, Hayes is forged within the group after auditioning, not in contrast to the best way Types was on the British model of “The X Issue” earlier than being chosen for One Path. (That stated, the e book options appreciable dialogue of Hayes’s dimples, which appears like a direct reference to Types’s seems.)

However whereas these modifications align the Hayes onscreen with the Harry of actuality, they surprisingly don’t make the film indebted to Types. Slightly, they only make it extra grounded than Lee’s novel, which generally comes throughout as a listing of detailed descriptions of the furnishings of luxurious motels together with copious intercourse scenes.

The movie understands that the fantasy of a Harry Types kind is a potent one. Types has earned the love of thousands and thousands not simply because he’s engaging and has a pleasant singing voice and bold glam-rock model. There’s an concept perpetuated by his fandom that he’s accepting and, most of all, variety. (He even recorded a music, launched after the “Concept of You” novel, known as “Deal with Individuals With Kindness.”) That kindness is filtered by means of the brand new movie.

Because the film opens, Solène, divorced and on the verge of turning 40, steps in when her ex (Reid Scott) has last-minute plans that stop him from taking their teenage daughter, Izzy (Ella Rubin), to Coachella. Izzy (a center schooler within the novel, however aged up right here) is not enamored with August Moon and is now into feminine singer-songwriter varieties, however her wealthy, inattentive dad has paid for a meet-and-greet with the band.

Solène then meets cute with Hayes when she unintentionally wanders into his trailer, pondering it’s a public restroom. He’s charmed and begins to pursue her by visiting her gallery within the reliably hip Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles, the place he seems upon her with marvel as she explains the artwork to him.

Hayes, as performed by Galitzine, is one thing of an ideal man. He’s good-looking. (Duh.) He’s proficient. The August Moon of the movie has its personal songs, which signifies that these crushing on Hayes don’t must think about him singing One Path tunes, and in any case Hayes needs to pursue a deeper sort of musicianship. He’s persistent with out being aggressive, charming with out being saccharine. Sure, he’s youthful than Solène — aged up from 20 to 24 within the movie — however he doesn’t fetishize her age. He’s simply entranced by her smarts and sweetness.

Galitzine appears to know {that a} film like this works provided that the viewers can see how in love he’s with Solène, and to perform that he cedes the ground to Hathaway. Whereas the Solène of the e book namedrops designer garments, Hathaway makes her earthy, somebody in a interval of re-evaluation after having a toddler too younger with an in the end disappointing husband. Her warning in embarking on a tryst with Hayes is met with a dose of self-deprecation that doesn’t really feel pressured. You see her bloom in Galitzine’s gaze and likewise her ache when she realizes {that a} relationship within the public eye goes to take a toll on her daughter.

By the tip it doesn’t actually matter whether or not Hayes is predicated on Harry Types as a result of the lovable boy isn’t actually the purpose anyway. It’s how that cute boy makes the heroine really feel. And if she’s in love, then so are we.





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