Critics Slam Harry Styles’ LGBT Drama ‘My Policeman,’ Call It ‘A One-Note Study Of Gay Martyrdom’

Critics Slam Harry Styles’ LGBT Drama ‘My Policeman,’ Call It ‘A One-Note Study Of Gay Martyrdom’

It’s too soon to tell if audiences will appreciate Harry Styles’ new LGBT drama “My Policeman,” but so far critics are calling it an epic fail.

“Even Harry Styles’ presence can’t make ‘My Policeman’s’ discussion of queerness interesting,” the Guardian reviewer shared in a synopsis of the new film, which debuts in theaters today and becomes available for streaming on Amazon Prime starting November 4.

“… the drab, turgid finished film feels scarcely less bland and timid than the compromised, straight-angled prestige gay dramas of less liberated times,” the reviewer continued, comparing the new film to the Tom Hanks classic “Philadelphia.”

“What could be a rather ruthless, lacerating story of ruinous self-denial and homophobic betrayal instead emerges as a one-note study of gay martyrdom, one so narrowly focused on queer repression that queer expression never gets a look-in.”

The story revolves around Tom (Styles), a policeman in 1950s Britain who marries a schoolteacher but also engages in a passionate same-sex affair with a museum curator during a time when homosexuality is illegal. It’s based on a novel by the same name.

So far, “My Policeman” has a 40% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of the criticism has to do with Styles himself, who has already admitted that he has “no idea” what he’s doing when it comes to acting.

“[Harry Styles] doesn’t have the technique to convey whatever ideas he may have had about his character. The travesty is that a powerful lead performance might have elevated Grandage’s film to a superior category,” a reviewer from The Independent wrote.

“Like Tom who tries to please both his lovers — but ends up pleasing neither — the film tries to create something romantic and tragic but ends up being neither…. What is unfortunate about this film is that it [sic] so bland; it could have been so much better,” another reviewer agreed

“My Policeman” producers took great care to cast gay actors in gay parts, and the movie boasts a gay screenwriter. However, some fans argue that casting Styles in the lead role was a mistake, as the former One Direction singer has been notoriously vague about his sexuality and may not actually be bisexual, despite rumors to the contrary. He is currently in a romantic relationship with actress Olivia Wilde.

Either way, the film is described as dreary and “colorless,” full of gray landscapes and lots of forlorn imagery. 

“Cinematically, it’s as flat and gray as the drizzly south coast seascapes to which the characters’ older incarnations are confined: one wonders if the Styles stans who have been cheerleading the film for months will be surprised by how much screen time is given over to Gina McKee staring glumly out of picture windows,” the review says.

This newest release comes just weeks after the LGBTQ romantic comedy, “Bros,” was a box office flop after months of aggressive marketing and promotion.