Right now, everyone is crazy about Harry.
Former One Direction star Harry Styles is riding a wave of success thanks to his infectious pop and good looks. He reminds me a lot of when Robbie Williams was unstoppable after leaving Take That, even though Styles has hip panache and is already diving headlong into acting roles.
Following those of 2017 Dunkirk and the recent release Don’t worry honeynow has a starring role in the LGBTI+ romance My cop
My cop is based on a 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, itself loosely based on a true story.
The film is set around a trio in two time periods, starting with Marion (Gina McKee) caring for the elderly and ailing Patrick (Rupert Everett), while her husband Tom (Linus Roache) resents the fact that brought him back into their lives.
Most of the action takes place in 1957, as the three become devoted friends.
Young Marion (Emma Corrin) was swooning over local copper Tom (Harry Styles) as they both befriended museum curator Patrick (David Dawson). Whether it was swimming on pebble beaches, poring over library books, dancing, strolling through art galleries, these three were as inseparable as CabaretThey are Sally Bowles, Brian and Maximillian (if you know the movie you will understand).
As we move through the present, it is clear that there has been some squabbles.
“We didn’t fix it, we just stopped talking about it,” Marion tells Tom.
It is also clear that the relationship between Tom and Henry, who met with a blow to an old cop’s box, was something other than platonic. Having a man in uniform may be something of a fantasy for Henry, but it was an opening to a whole new and dangerous world for Tom. Being a closeted cop in 1950s England could be the end of his career, if not certain incarceration.
“How do you do it? Do you live this life?” Tom asks Henry.
The film includes hot and steamy M2M sex scenes, no doubt under the gaze of an intimacy coordinator, and Styles doesn’t hold back from playing the role with authenticity.
Yet while there are varying degrees of admiration/voyeurism/fantasy in watching Harry make out, it’s hard to ignore the third wheel in this relationship and the parody that awaits the blissfully ignorant Marion.
This is what I will detail about the plot….
Produced by Greg Berlanti and directed by Michael Grandage, this is a film with heart in the right place. It’s beautifully photographed, evocative of the era, with some stunning torch songs thrown in for good measure.
The six leads all deliver heartfelt performances, with Styles holding his own against more seasoned performers. He takes this act like a duck to water, obviously a born artist. He points to him as a bona fide star to take on such a role. That’s how you get credibility and maybe an acting nomination down the road, though I suspect they’ll be coming for future roles rather than this particular one.
Both women, McKee and Corrin, are strong in cutthroat roles and it is worth noting that both Everett and Roache have appeared in seminal LGBTQI+ films, Another country AND Priest, respectively. Both were better movies than My cop which is a crowd pleaser, albeit largely negative at the same time.
Despite noble performances and the care with which the material is handled, it’s not breaking new ground and looks like every other well-told and well-acted film I’ve seen in a long line of queer film festivals. So many of these invariably include going into the closet, finding Mr. Right/Mr. Right Now, and coming out.
It leaves me wondering what this film might be best remembered for long after the applause, which I believe will be for Styles’ authentic portrayal of a queer, closeted cop.
His career is on an upward trajectory and you can see what all the fuss is about.
My Policeman is now playing on Prime Video.