The Idea of You

Review by Rich Cline | 4/5

The Idea of You
dir Michael Showalter
scr Michael Showalter, Jennifer Westfeldt
prd Cathy Schulman, Gabrielle Union, Anne Hathaway, Robinne Lee, Eric Hayes
with Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, Ella Rubin, Annie Mumolo, Reid Scott, Nina Bloomgarden, Raymond Cham Jr, Mathilda Gianopoulos, Jordan Aaron Hall, Chandler Lovelle, Perry Mattfeld, Graham Norton
release US/UK 3.May.24
24/US MGM 1h56

rubin mumolo scott

Is it streaming?

The Idea of You
Snappy and smart, this romantic comedy-drama creates characters and situations that are easy to identify with, even if they require an imaginative stretch. Cleverly, the script avoids the usual genre pitfalls by deepening the conversations to create some complexity in the connections. Filmmaker Michael Showalter also knowingly captures the craziness of the jet-set life of a popstar, interwoven with a fantasy-style romance that's sexy and thoroughly engaging.
At 40, art dealer Solene (Hathaway) takes her 16-year-old daughter Izzy (Rubin) to Coachella to see the hot boy band August Moon, complete with VIP passes. When Solene runs into lead singer Hayes (Galitzine) backstage, he likes that she's completely nonplussed by him. Then she hears the deafening shriek of his fanbase. Later, he turns up at her gallery, and Solene pushes him away, saying she's too old for him. But it's not so easy to deny their attraction, and she finds herself accompanying him on his European tour, while Izzy is at summer camp.
Peppered with great pop songs, this movie has an effortless vibe, charging through the expected story structure without many surprises. There's unusual honesty in the dialog, as Solene and Hayes find it easy to speak openly, making a solid connection alongside their flirtatious banter and sizzling mutual lust. It's clearly only a matter of time until their secret romance is splashed across the headlines. At that point, vile comments from both friends and strangers feel overwhelming. As Solene's best pal (Mumolo) reminds her, "People hate happy women."

Hathaway is terrific as a woman at the height of her powers whose insecurities are nothing compared to what the public has to say about her relationship with a younger man. Almost absurdly charming, Galitzine is terrific as the 24-year-old heartthrob looking for something real. He's on the top of the world, but worries that as a musician he's just a joke. Galitzine is going from strength to strength recently (see Mary & George), and proves to be a superb vocalist here too.

As the title suggests, Solene feels like she got swept up in the idea of Hayes. But for him this is something serious. The film's strong point is that age shouldn't be such a defining factor if the relationship is real. But because the script fails to properly challenge the haters and hypocrites, it feels like those ageist sentiments are lurking in the subtext. This might be an effort to ground the story, but it actually rings oddly false. And Showalter remembers that the fantasy is a lot more satisfying.

cert 15 themes, language, sexuality 30.Apr.24

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S

send your review to Shadows... The Idea of You Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.

© 2024 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall