"The Idea of You" is breezy, honestly acted fluff

The Idea of You (2024)

"The Idea of You" is a breezy romantic escape with two beautiful leads who have great teeth and even greater charisma. Based on actress-author Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel, it’s really just "Notting Hill" with a May-December spin, and while a societally unconventional (cradle-robbing) relationship is at the forefront, the film is never icky, nor is it judgmental. In fact, this is an otherwise frothy and pretty conventional romantic drama that gains mileage purely from the joint chemistry of its two stars.

Anne Hathaway plays Solène, a divorced L.A. mom who’s just turned 40. Her 16-year-old daughter, Izzy (Ella Rubin), is her everything, but she also runs an art gallery in Silver Lake. Just as she’s about to do something for herself—go solo camping—ex-husband Daniel (Reid Scott) asks Solène to take Izzy and her two friends to Coachella. While waiting for a meet-and-greet with popular boy band August Moon, Solène ends up meeting the lead singer, Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine). He’s 24 but charming as hell, and their chance encounter quickly turns into a romance. But can their relationship last? What will the rest of the world say? 

Director Michael Showalter ("The Big Sick") puts on his best Nancy Meyers impression—it’s marginally more down-to-earth with the lack of perfect Pottery Barn kitchens and throw pillows—and co-wrote the script with writer Jennifer Westfeldt. As the film nails the double standards between men and women of different ages—the reality check, the outpouring of hate on the Internet, and the judgment around her—Hathaway hits every vulnerable note perfectly and poignantly. And, as for the charming Galitzine, he really is a star, and he can sing (the songs by August Moon are actually pretty catchy). Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: B -

Amazon MGM Studios released "The Idea of You" (115 min.) on Prime Video on May 2, 2024.