‘Harry Styles is criminally bad’ in ‘My Policeman.’

Credit: Amazon Prime Video

There’s a tripwire between “clever” and “cutesy” when you’re playing off the title of a book or movie in a review.

Avoid it and you’ll look smart or witty. Go one step too far and you’ll fall on your face. Jessie Thompson, a British arts editor, shows you how to avoid the trap in her review of the new Harry Styles movie.



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Janice Harayda

Critic, novelist, award-winning journalist. Former book editor of the Plain Dealer and book columnist for Glamour. Words in NYT, WSJ, and other major media.