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Movie Review - Amazon's The Idea of You

When the last thing you expect becomes the only thing you want.

The Idea of You is a 2024 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Michael Showalter, written by Michael Showalter and Jennifer Westfeldt, produced by Amazon MGM Studios, Somewhere Pictures, and Welle Entertainment, and distributed by Amazon Prime Video. It is based off of Robinne Lee's 2017 novel of the same name. It stars Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitizine.

"I'm too old for you." - Solène Marchand


40-year-old Solène Marchand is still struggling after an ugly divorce. When she takes her daughter to Coachella, however, she meets 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, a member of an incredibly popular boy band. The two strike up a relationship but have to manage both Hayes's fame and the age difference between them.

The Sweet

This movie is...interesting.

I think the film's biggest strength is actually Nicholas Galitizine, the guy who plays the boy band singer. At first glance, he just seems like a generic teenage heartthrob, which I would not like. But he's actually really funny, which made him much more charismatic and charming. He completely outshines Anne Hathaway here and is the stronger part of the couple that we have here, which was a definite surprise.

The movie also has this innocent charm to it. It's definitely not my thing. I would describe it very much as typical "chick flick", but it embraces that and runs with it. It's funnier than a typical soapy romance, but it's more romantic than a typical rom-com. I think that gives it an interesting in-between that some people will like.

I actually thought that the strongest aspect of the story was really the mother-daughter relationship. Anne Hathaway is a single mom in this film, and she clearly has a good relationship with her daughter. They obviously are not the primary focus of the film, but anytime that it cuts in and gives them the spotlight, the movie feels more authentic and resonant. They definitely feel more real than our actual couple.

The Sour

I did not like this movie.

Although I praised this film for being an in-between of straight romantic dramas and rom-coms, I think that the concept is better than the execution. Romance movies can be good if the romance at the center is good - Titanic, Casablanca, Eternal Sunshine, etc. I just don't buy into the romance here. It's so soapy and over-the-top. Although I think Hathaway and Galitizine have good chemistry, I think the characters don't have a good dynamic together. It's so very dramatic and feels even more elevated than the usual Hollywood romance.

I also think that the film got very repetitive at a certain point. It just goes in circles - they're together, they break up, they're together, they break up...and it all feels very predictable and generic. There's a very clear formula for romantic movies, and it feels like The Idea of You follows that to a tee. It just doesn't do anything unique or different, and so the romantic moments just fall flat after a while.

I also really did not like the ending of this film. It very much plays coy with the "will they/won't they" concept. The route that they decide to go in the end was the worse option. One of my friends who I saw it with tried to predict the ending before it happened. She was wrong, but the ending that she predicted was better than the actual ending of the movie. The film just sticks the landing in an unrealistic way. As soon as it happens, a million questions about how this actually occurred pop into your head. And that is never a good thing.

I also don't like Anne Hathaway that much in this movie. I think Hathaway is a good dramatic actress. But I don't think she works in romances. I've seen The Princess Diaries (not a fan), and I think she has the same problems there are she does here. She's overly smiley and just puts on this plastic, unnatural performance to try and fit into this romantic archetype. We've seen her have such range, but for some reason, I just don't think romantic movies fit into that range.

Final Thoughts and Score

The Idea of You is a generic romantic dramedy that suffers from an unbelievable couple, a weird ending, and some unnatural performances.

I'm going Sour here. Age range is 12+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"The Idea of You"

Fun Factor: 5/10

Acting: 6/10

Story: 5.5/10

Characters: 5/10

Quality: 5.5/10

Directed by Michael Showalter

Rated R for language, sexual material, thematic elements

Released on May 2, 2024

1 hour and 56 minutes

Anne Hathaway as Solène Marchand

Nicholas Galitizine as Hayes Campbell

Ella Rubin as Izzy

Reid Scott as Daniel

Jordan Aaron Hall as Zeke

Jaiden Anthony as Adrian

Raymond Cham Jr. as Oliver

Viktor White as Simon

Dakota Adan as Rory

Annie Mumolo as Tracy

Perry Mattfeld as Eva


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