The Idea of You REVIEW – Palatable Romantic Fluff

Anne Hathaway in a rom-com is an automatic yes.

The Idea of You
The Idea of You

The news of Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in a rom-com together is an instant sign-me-up. Galitzine has made quite a name for himself as a romantic leading man, and while the movies he’s starred in haven’t been the best movies to ever walk the earth, he’s always been one of the better parts of it. Anne Hathaway is just a fantastic and incredible actress, so even if the movie is a car wreck, I felt confident that I would still enjoy myself. And I was right. The movie did need a bit more substance and development, since it felt rushed at some points, but Hathaway and Galitzine make it worth our while.

Hathaway plays Solène, a 40 year old gallery owner with a 16 year old daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin). She and her ex husband Daniel (Reid Scott) separated 3 years ago, and she’s been nursing the wounds from that betrayal since then. Initially, Daniel had planned a Coachella trip for Izzy and her friends, but a last minute work emergency as him asking Solène to ditch her plans so that she can take them instead. Solène, who was looking forward to some me time that weekend, is now having to go to Coachella instead.

It’s at Coachella that she and Hayes (Galitzine) have their meet-cute. From the get-go, Hathaway and Galitzine have obvious chemistry, just from mere gazing. Being the skilled actors that they are, there’s immediate attraction and interest between the two. While Hayes is more forward with his intentions, Solène is reserved and unsure of what a 24 year old would want with her. Not only is he a younger man, he’s also famous, as one of the members of boy band August Moon. What I appreciate is that the movie actually develops the sound of August Moon, and we’re treated to quite a fair bit of their songs and performances in the movie. It helps the worldbuilding and makes everything feel more authentic.

Galitzine sang quite a fair bit in Cinderella, so he’s able to bring his music chops into the spaces of this film as well. I would say that Galitzine doesn’t look 24 – and he isn’t – which makes the age gap more acceptable to viewers. Both Hathaway and Galitzine do a great job of telegraphing their characters deep sense of loneliness. Hayes is surrounded by people who know him and want things from him because of his fame, while Daniel’s betrayal made Solène close off all opportunities for love and romance. I do wish the movie spent more time setting up their relationship. It has its sexy moments, and the chemistry is off the charts, but they don’t have much space as a couple before the conflict hits. The film skims through these happy moments by giving us a montage, and I wish we just got a bit more information of what they’re like as a couple beyond the hot, sexy times.

The conflict is probably the most well-done aspect of the movie, because it’s absolutely real. Fans delude themselves into thinking they know what’s best for these artists they idolize, so every aspect of their personal life is held up for public scrutiny. As an older woman, no matter how beautiful and hot Solène is, she’s viewed as not good enough for someone like Hayes. It’s difficult for us mere mortals to believe that someone who looks like Anne Hathaway can feel insecure, but the reality of ageing is inescapable, and Solène can’t help but compare herself to all these young women. The vitriol of the online mob cannot be ignored because it spreads to real life, and soon Solène herself isn’t the only one affected by all these nasty views.

So yes, The Idea of You has a number of good things going for it. I just wish it didn’t feel so paint by numbers.

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The Idea of You
Verdict
The Idea of You works because it has Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine as romantic leads. They make the love story feel credible, and you feel the anguish when they are apart.
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