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THE IDEA OF YOU

I Amazon MGM Studios I May 2, 2024 I 115 Mins. I

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90 %

* As of 5/1/24

Starring:  Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, Ella Rubin, Annie Mumolo, Reid Scott, Perry Mattfeld, Jordan Aaron Hall, Mathilda Gianopoulos 

Directed By: Michael Showalter

Based on the acclaimed love story of the same name, Amazon Original film Idea of You will be the romance movie of the year – premiering on Prime Video May 2. Idea of You centers on Solène (Anne Hathaway), a 40-year-old single mom who begins an unexpected romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet. When Solène must step in to chaperone her teenage daughter’s trip to the Coachella Music Festival after her ex bails at the last minute, she has a chance encounter with Hayes and there is an instant, undeniable spark. As they begin a whirlwind romance, it isn’t long before Hayes’ superstar status poses unavoidable challenges to their relationship, and Solène soon discovers that life in the glare of his spotlight might be more than she bargained for.

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REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus

RATING 4 out of 5

The Idea of You sweeps audiences away on an enchanting romantic comedy experience that will leave you swooning due to the magical pairing of Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine

 

If you are a fan of the romantic comedy genre, there is no doubt that you are thriving in the current movie market. The last few months have seen numerous titles released in the genre that callback to some of the genre’s greatest entries, each promising big laughter, electrifying chemistry between their lead stars, and countless amounts of entertainment. Continuing this winning streak is The Idea of You, which sees Anne Hathaway return to the romantic comedy genre, and it's impossible not to fall in love with her latest film. After starring in some of the genre’s most recognizable films in recent memory like The Devil Wears Prada and The Princess Diaries, it is a true delight to see Hathaway back in the genre, that combined with an insightful and moving screenplay and the latest “it” actor Nicholas Galitzine as her romantic co-star, results in another win for the genre that is destined to hit all the right notes with audiences.

 

Based on the acclaimed novel by Robinne Lee, the film tells the story of Solène, a forty year old single mother who falls in love with Hayes Campbell, the twenty-four year old lead singer of one of the world’s most popular boy bands, August Moon. While the romantic comedy genre is no stranger to seeing regular individuals falling in love with celebrities or age gaps between the lead characters, what sets The Idea of You apart from other films with a similar premise is the gender roles. We are used to seeing the common man fall in love with the famous actress, such as in Notting Hill, or the older man falling for the younger woman, like in Pretty Woman, but in this instance, it is the reverse. And through the wonderful screenplay from Jennifer Westfeldt and director Michael Showalter, as the audiences are taken on a romantic escape with Solène and Hayes, there is an emotional depth to the characters that makes this more than your typical romantic comedy. 

 

Hayes’s psyche is explored, giving a fully rounded young man who is vulnerable and emotionally intelligent, and Solène is a wonderful character that you instantly care for and want nothing less for her than to find her happy ending. This allows for a mature and deeply intense relationship to form between Solène and Hayes, resulting in beautiful moments of romance that deliver everything audiences wish for from a romantic comedy. Yes, the film does feel a little long at times during the second half where it has a few false endings, jumping the gun on the drama that threatens to tear Solène and Hayes apart. But, with such a strong romance and character development at the centre of the screenplay, odds are that you will be so swept up by the emotional stakes of the story that you will quickly forget about the minor shortcomings of the screenplay. Plus, the boy band culture explored in the film and the original songs written for and performed by Galitzine and his August Moon co-stars captures the best aspects of that style of music, even with the terrible tattoos they all have.

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But, the film truly soars thanks to the lead performances of Hathaway and Galitzine, both of whom are nothing short of excellent. Galitzine continues to impress as an actor in the role of Hayes, bringing an immense amount of charm to the young pop star. But beneath the superstar image, Galitzine captures the certainty in Hayes as he pursues Solène and the maturity of this young man forced to grow up instantly in the spotlight, flexing his acting chops at every moment with his ability to convey his character’s heartbreak without uttering a single word. Hathaway is incredible as always, and this is easily the best performance we have seen from her in years. As Solène, Hathaway dazzles as this woman fully embracing her emotions and following her heart, regardless of what others may say, with a strength and vulnerability that immediately bonds you to her character. The role requires her to be funny, charming, emotional, and most importantly, utterly radiant, instantly reminding you why audiences fell in love with Hathaway as an actress over two decades ago. Though, it is the fireworks that go off between Hathaway and Galitzine that truly make their performances. The bond between them is deep, with a sexual passion that leaps off the screen and carries the audience away on this fairytale romance set within the confines of the real world. During these moments together, Hathaway is luminous unlike anything we have seen from her in over a decade, while Galitzine cements himself as a leading man who can create charm in any situation with any co-star he is paired with. There is a supporting cast, including some great comedic talents like Annie Mumolo and Reid Scott, but nothing can distract for a second from the star-crossed romance thanks to the brilliant pairing of Hathaway and Galitzine.


It is somewhat surprising that Amazon MGM Studios opted to release The Idea of You directly to Amazon Prime Video. While there is no doubt in my mind that they have a hit film on their hands, given the star power of Anne Hathaway, the recent resurgence of the romantic comedy genre, and the beautiful story this film has to tell, this film had the potential to be a box office hit during the summer movie season. Even though audiences won’t be able to experience the romance between Solène and Hayes on the big screen, they are going to be transported on one incredibly romantic journey from the comfort of their own homes. Led by the sensational pairing of Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine, both of whom are nothing short of outstanding, The Idea of You is a classic romantic comedy with an insightful and deeply beautiful screenplay that not only lights up the screen with an insanely passionate romance, but will leave audiences in an optimistic state of romantic bliss after watching it!

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