The Idea of You movie poster

The Idea of You

In theaters May 2, 2024


, ,

115 minutes

Official Selection:

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

Attention Hollywood: America is hungry for more romance. Despite critics trouncing December’s Anyone But You, the film went on to gross more than $200 million worldwide. The steamy, new tennis romance drama Challengers scorched the competition in its first week of release. And now Amazon is dropping The Idea of You, a charming romantic dramedy starring the always adorable Anne Hathaway and heartthrob of the moment, Nicholas Galitzine. Don’t believe me that people want more love in their lives? The Idea of You set the internet on fire with its trailer garnering over 125 million views – the most for a streaming film ever.

Solène (Anne Hathaway) thought she had it all: a happy marriage, a wonderful daughter, and a burgeoning career as an art dealer. That is until it all comes crashing down when she finds out her husband Dan (Reid Scott) is cheating with a younger woman and wants a divorce. With 40 quickly approaching and still bitter with her ex who “destroyed her life”, Solène is prepping for a solo camp trip when Dan manages to disappoint again – this time canceling last minute as a chaperone to Coachella for their daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin) and her two best friends. Not one to disappoint her daughter, Solène cancels her adventure and accompanies the trio to the music festival where Izzy and company have special passes to meet the members of the world’s biggest boy band, August Moon.

While seeking out a bathroom, Solène ends up in a chance encounter meeting August Moon’s lead singer, Hayes Campbell (Galitzine). With an immediate spark between the two, a flame is lit that Hayes won’t let go out. That first meeting leads to some harmless sneaking around, but one slip-up forever changes Solène and her family’s life when it gets out that Hayes is dating a much older woman. Just as the internet and paparazzi do, they turn the growing relationship into a constant pursuit of the couple, salacious headlines, endless trolling comments on social media, and for Izzy, a disastrous social life. Solène is left to choose: Hayes or her family.

Hathaway and Galitzine boast some of the most magnetic chemistry on film in years, making it feel so authentic and effortless -a connection that builds so slowly for viewers that they’ll jump out of their seats when the pop singer and art dealer finally have their first kiss. As director Michael Showalter shared in a recent interview, “A big part of this movie is earning it. You want to really feel like these two people have shared and gone there with each other to where once that kiss happens, it’s earned and there’s nothing left to say.”

It has been over a decade since Hathaway won an Academy Award for her role as Fantine in Les Misérables. Since that time, she has starred in 25+ mostly forgettable film and tv series, but her turn here as Solène ranks amongst her best performances and will remind the country why they originally fell in love with her as a teenager in The Princess Diaries and then again as a 20-something in the unforgettable The Devil Wears Prada. Interestingly enough, like her character in the film, Hathaway too turned 40 during filming. Producer Cathy Schulman recently shared that she had Hathaway in mind for the film from the get-go and thankfully she was able to land the movie star as it is hard to imagine anyone else being able to play the role.

Galitzine, meanwhile, is certainly a star on the rise. After stealing hearts as a prince in Amazon Prime’s jukebox musical Cinderella and, more recently, in Prime’s Red, White & Royal Blue, Galitzine trades in his crown for a microphone as the English actor shows off more than just his acting skills with singing and dancing skills to match. Women young and old will swoon over the 29-year-old actor.

Rubin in her biggest role yet is perfectly cast as Izzy. A strong resemblance to Hathaway aside, she convincingly plays a teen wise beyond her years, a kid who is still trying to figure out who she is and battling what others think of her at the same time. Only Scott seems miscast as Solène’s ex-husband – not because he’s a poor actor, but because he is too nice of a guy to play the antagonist.

The Idea of You isn’t the first film about a cougar – who can forget Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate and, of course, Stifler’s mom in American Pie – but with Robinne Lee’s novel and a script adapted by Showalter and producer Jennifer Westfeldt, the movie offers a new take on the older woman / younger man trope played out on screen before.

And like the recent sexy tennis drama Challengers, The Idea of You adds an excellent soundtrack that is sure to find its way up the charts. Made up of songs sung by Galitzine and the fake band August Moon, don’t be surprised when fans clamor to have the boy band tour for real. Fans reacted similarly to the music of Daisy Jones and the Six and it’s likely to be a case of déjà vu here.

The Idea of You may not win any awards, but it’s a movie that will make you smile, tap your toe along to the beats, and leave you feeling good. It’s just a shame that Amazon is releasing it solely on its Prime platform as having seen it on the big screen, it’s a perfect film for couples or girls’ night out (likely their core demographic) to watch together in a theater.

The Idea of You is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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