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Anne Hathaway is sublime in May-December romance The Idea of You where she pairs up with Nicholas Galitzine

Directed by Michael Showalter, the film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chandreyee Chatterjee Calcutta Published 03.05.24, 10:55 AM
Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

You know how there are those romances that have you grinning like a fool and then teary-eyed with emotion and then grinning like a fool again? Well, The Idea of You is exactly that kind of romance.

Starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine and streaming on Prime Video, The Idea of You is the story of a taboo May-December romance, only this time it is the woman who is 15 years older. It is an all-out, feel-good, summer romance that touches on the complexities of such a relationship but doesn’t dwell on it.


Based on a book of the same name by Robinne Lee, The Idea of You is the story of Solene Marchand (Hathaway), a 40-year-old single mother of a teenage daughter who has a meet-cute with Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), the 24-year-old singer of her daughter’s favourite band. There is instant attraction between the two and Hayes takes no prisoners in wooing Solene. Solene falls for him and despite misgivings starts up an unexpected and steamy romance till friends, the media and society dub her a cougar. She has to make the hard choice of putting her daughter, who is facing the brunt of her relationship in school, first.

Hathaway is absolutely sublime as Solene, imbuing her with a fragility despite being an attractive, independent woman. She is always conscious of her status as the older woman and grapples with the shame of falling for a younger man as well as the repercussion of society’s preconceived notions about such taboo relationships. Her honest performance makes Solene feel real. Galitzine is as capable of wooing an older woman as he is the son of the President of the United States (if you haven’t watched Red, White and Royal Blue you totally should queue it up right now). As usual, his eyes do all the talking and boy, can he sing. The two share an easy and comfortable chemistry that makes the movie that much more appealing.

Things do get heated up in the show (the movie has án R rating) with lengthy montages of the two being intimate. But one of the hottest is that first kiss between Hayes and Solene at her house (phew!). There are some heartwarming moments where the two open up and are vulnerable with each other, her talking about her divorce and him about his fears of being looked at like a joker, are a few.

Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, The Lovebirds), the film looks at the complex theme of a May-December romance, calling out society’s penchant for labelling an older woman for falling in love or lust with a younger man. Yes, age-gap relationships are complicated with enough instances of older people grooming younger ones, but sometimes, like in The Idea of You, it is just about simple and pure affection.

And don’t worry, while this is not a film where the couple walk into the sunset together, Hathaway’s big smile at the end of the movie indicates that there might be something like that in the future for her.

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