August Moon Is a Fictional Band, but They Were Inspired by a Real Group

August Moon was inspired by One Direction, but the band itself isn't real. Fans have spotted connections between the two bands.


May 3 2024, Published 10:25 a.m. ET

August Moon performing on stage in 'The Idea of You.'
Source: Amazon Prime Video

While it’s cribbing very liberally from the real world, not everything in The Idea of You is based on reality. The new movie, which stars Anne Hathaway as a 40-year-old single mom who begins a relationship with one of the stars of the boy band August Moon, debuted on Amazon Prime Video on May 3, 2024.

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Following the movie’s premiere on streaming, many wanted to better understand where the story was coming from, and how much it was based on reality. Those questions extended to August Moon themselves, and whether the band was real.

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in 'The Idea of You.'
Source: Amazon Prime Video
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Is August Moon a real band?

August Moon is a fictional band, but they're based pretty directly on One Direction. The band’s lead single was even written to sound shockingly similar to “What Makes You Beautiful,” one of the biggest hits of One Direction’s career.

That resemblance is underscored by the fact that Savan Kotecha and Carl Falk produced both One Direction’s hit and August Moon’s very similar song.

And that isn't where the real-world inspiration ends. Hayes Campbell, the pop star who Anne Hathaway’s character falls for, is based pretty directly on Harry Styles. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Robinne Lee. After the book became a smash hit, fans began to suspect that the novel had started its life as a piece of Harry Styles fan fiction.

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Robinne has denied the idea that the connection is that straightforward, but she has said that Hayes was partially inspired by Harry.

“I made him into my dream guy,” Robinne said in an interview with Vogue in 2020. She explained that Hayes was meant to be “Like Prince Harry, meets Harry [Styles],” combined with her own exes as well as other celebrities, including Eddie Redmayne.

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Hayes's similarities to Harry Styles are undeniable.

Despite what Robinne said, Hayes’s penchant for older women, and the timing of the novel shortly after Harry began his relationship with Olivia Wilde, have many connecting the dots on their own.

In advance of the movie, Robinne was even more forceful in denying the connection, saying that it was insulting to suggest that a work of fiction was just cribbed from real life.

“Labeling it as ‘fluff’ or ‘fan fiction’ — particularly when done by those who have not read it — is both reductive and dismissive,” she wrote in an essay for Time. “And this is not something that happens to male authors.”

“Assuming a novel with a fictional celebrity in a relationship must be based on an existing celebrity — in this case, the internet has decided, Harry Styles — is unimaginative at best and sexist at worst.”

Of course, the connection to the real world is one of the reasons so many people have flocked to both the movie and the book. Whether it’s the intention of the author or not, many people see parallels to Harry right below the surface of the story.

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