THE IDEA OF YOU. This film restores faith

The Idea of You is a love story that will be a good idea for a movie night not only for singles and single mothers.

Martyna Janasik

3 May 2024

This film won’t change your life. Perhaps you won’t revisit it every year either, but it will certainly make you smile when you think back on it. Just the thought of it restores faith in romantic comedies and love after forty, signaling that the world and social acceptance are beginning to change. You can catch The Idea of You on Prime Video starting May 2nd, and with us, you can read a review of this love story that will be a good idea for a movie night not only for singles and single mothers. Starring in leading roles are Anne Hathaway, unseen for a long time in romantic comedies, and Nicholas Galitzine.

THE IDEA OF YOU. More than just a romantic comedy

The Idea of You appears to be a simple story at first glance, easily labeled by many. Some may call it a mid-life crisis. Others see rebellion in a single mother. Some view it as a self-esteem booster. Others might say it’s yet another film about a young man’s fascination with an older woman. However, once we shed the need for judgment, we’ll see that beneath the surface of this story lies much more. Some will rediscover belief in love. Others will see that it’s possible to rebuild one’s life. More will understand that doubts, crises, shaken self-assurance, or fear are things that affect each of us but do not have to define us. Moreover, mothers will feel that motherhood does not exempt them from happiness and pursuing their dreams.

The Idea of You is an adaptation of the novel of the same title released in 2017 by Robinne Lee. It’s a contemporary love story where the happy ending isn’t the key; it’s everything before it. A 40-year-old single mother (played by Anne Hathaway) engages in a passionate romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of the world’s most popular boy band—August Moon—whom her teenage daughter was listening to just a year ago. Solène and Hayes unexpectedly meet at the Coachella music festival. There’s an immediate spark between them, and undeniable chemistry emerges. However, Solène’s sense of reason and societal norms kick in, and she doesn’t allow herself to feel these emotions. But Hayes isn’t giving up. His straightforwardness captivates Solène. Their happiness is short-lived. It turns out Hayes’s status poses a huge challenge to their relationship. Solène quickly discovers that living in the spotlight and the fame of her beloved can be more demanding than she initially thought, with more shadows than highlights. Does their relationship stand a chance in a world where everyone has something to say about them?

Will The Idea of You Start a Revolution?

Does the love between the characters in The Idea of You have a chance in a world where everyone feels entitled to judge? This question, alongside themes of aging and the portrayal of a mature woman, seems to be a crucial aspect of Solène and Hayes’s story. And rightfully so. There have been films about stars who fell in love with “ordinary” people, stories about older men and younger women, and lofty tales of love transcending various divides. Yet, a film depicting love where the woman is older than her lover and has the courage to embrace life with him is hard to find. This shows that as a society, we still have a lesson to learn about societal acceptance—not only of relationships with significant age differences but also those in which the woman is older or where a mother has the courage to fall in love again while respecting her child. The Idea of You highlights this need for change, revealing the issue of slut-shaming in the film, which attempts to stigmatize, control, discipline, and shame a person through negative references to their sexuality.

Therefore, will The Idea of You start a revolution, helping people understand that everyone has the right to happiness and love, regardless of age, status, or life situation? Claiming such a grand outcome might be too lofty. However, The Idea of You certainly creates space for starting a societal dialogue on this topic. This is a positive sign that the film industry is beginning to notice this trend and the need to change societal acceptance norms because films are one of the most powerful opinion-shaping tools.

Remember These Lessons

Considering the plot outline of The Idea of You and the themes it addresses, one might think that only mothers and single women will find something here. Nothing could be further from the truth! Hayes is not just a confident celebrity. He’s also a sensitive young man who fears what will happen when his 15 minutes of fame are over. Anyone who doesn’t have everything figured out yet or wants to make a change and feels pressured by society to fit into certain molds will find themselves in him. Hayes will show such individuals that they have the right to feel whatever they feel, they have the right to change, and they don’t have to heed others’ opinions. He is also a man aware of his needs, who can teach the female viewers of The Idea of You that nothing is more attractive than a woman living in her power and feminine energy, who has the courage to pursue herself regardless of her life situation.

THE IDEA OF YOU, or the Rebirth of Romantic Comedy

The Idea of You may not change your life, but it’s a comedy worth watching! It proves that romantic comedies can still pack a punch! Recently, Hollywood has somewhat sidelined this genre in favor of fantasy, thrillers, and dark dramas. However, the recent success of Anyone But You shows that audiences still crave light romantic stories that can brighten their spirits on bad days and give hope that everyone will find their happy ending. Moreover, The Idea of You has a good chance of surpassing the success of Not You Again because it carries a broader social context. Here, it’s not just about love and the struggle for the coveted “happily ever after,” but a conversation about societal perceptions of certain relationships and a mature woman believing that life still has much to offer her. This gives hope that good times are returning for romantic comedies. Think back to the days of Pretty Woman or the first part of Bridget Jones, which not only amused and charmed but also showed that everyone has the right to happiness and love, and above all, the right to rediscover themselves at any age and in any place.

So, go ahead, seek your happiness, love, and laughter, and in the meantime, visit Prime Video and watch The Idea of You.

Martyna Janasik

Martyna Janasik

Cultural studies scholar and writer. Enthusiast of food, cinema, and sports. Probably that's why some of her favorite movies are "Rocky" and "Julie and Julia". She always wanted to write, so she will always write. In her free time, she loves watching movies and playing tennis.

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