'The Idea of You' has so many Harry Styles Easter eggs.
The Idea Of You Has So Many Harry Styles References

This movie was made for Directioners.

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No matter how many times Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine protest that their new movie isn’t about Harry Styles, it’s impossible not to make comparisons while watching The Idea of You. The book the movie was based on was famously inspired in part by Styles, as author Robinne Lee has alluded to several times. In bringing the text to life, it’s never been more clear who Galitzine’s pop-star character Hayes Campbell is paying homage to.

In The Idea of You, Hayes is the tattooed heartthrob frontman of the boy band August Moon. His life is totally disrupted when he falls for an older woman and the romance becomes a paparazzi obsession — sound familiar?

Yes, the premise was based on Styles. In 2017, the source novel’s author revealed she was inspired to write the romance after discovering Styles online. She later claimed Hayes was not a direct copy of Styles, but rather an amalgamation of several men both famous and from her own life. But the correlation to Styles has always felt the strongest, and that’s especially true in the film adaptation.

Throughout the movie, there are some pretty obvious references to Styles and his former boy band One Direction. Here are the major ones:

Hayes’ Wardrobe
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Most of Hayes’ outfits seem to be in direct parallel to iconic Harry Styles looks. In his very first scene, Hayes wears a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, in the same fashion that Styles is known for. Another notable wardrobe moment is the oversized fuzzy cardigan Hayes wears when he surprises Soléne at her gallery, which seems to be a nod to Styles’ love of big fuzzy sweaters.

Hayes’ Family
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Hayes’ backstory is also very similar to Styles’. When he’s first getting to know Soléne, Hayes confides that his parents split when he was young. Similarly, Styles’ parents divorced when he was 7.

The “Guard Down” Video
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It’s pretty easy to see how August Moon is a riff on One Direction, but it’s never more obvious than when Soléne watches the group’s music video for “Guard Down” on YouTube. The goofy, mugging-to-camera and rapid-scene-changing style of the music video is incredibly similar to One Direction’s “Kiss You” video.

The August Moon Songwriters
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It’s no coincidence that August Moon’s songs sound a lot like One Direction hits. The fictional boy band’s tracks were written by Savan Kotecha and Carl Falk, who also worked on several early One Direction songs, including “What Makes You Beautiful.”

The August Moon Logo
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August Moon’s name may also be a subtle nod to One Direction. The band’s logo — a giant A.M. — brings to mind the One Direction album Made in the A.M.

The Paparazzi Kiss
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In The Idea of You, Hayes is caught kissing Soléne in Paris while on tour by a sneaky paparazzo. The scene plays out very similarly to when Styles was caught kissing Emily Ratajkowski while on tour in 2023.

The Talk Show Rebrand
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Probably the most prominent Styles reference of all comes at the end of the movie, when Soléne turns on her TV and sees Hayes performing and being interviewed on The Graham Norton Show. As Styles fans have pointed out, the entire scene very closely mirrors Styles’ own appearance on The Graham Norton Show in 2017, when he kicked off his solo career by performing “Sign of the Times.”