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What to Watch This Weekend – The Idea Of You

The Idea of You is the story of Solène (Anne Hathway). Turning 40 and recently divorced, Solène begins reflecting on her life. As her teenage daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin) grows, she muses about what the next chapter might look like. Things take an amusing turn when Solène must take Izzy and her friends to a music festival. Headlining the event is August Moon—an international boy band sensation that Izzy used to love. Through a series of chance events, Solène encounters Hayes (Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of August Moon. The two exhibit instant chemistry and despite some reservations, Solène begins a relationship with Hayes. As things become more serious between them, both learn that they’ll have to face new realities about their situation especially as it becomes scrutinized by the public eye.

What works in The Idea of You is the sweet and spicy encounter between Hathway and Galitzine. Despite coming from different worlds, it is easy to understand and appreciate the attraction between the two romantic leads. Each person challenges the other in playful ways that always feel refreshingly genuine. Writer/director Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Wet Hot American Summer) proves adept at keeping his leads remarkable likeable to the point that they become increasingly easy to root for. There’s an earnestness grounded in some semblance of reality that will make people think: “these two people falling in love seems absolutely plausible.” It’s a simple concept, but one that is often not given enough attention in the romantic comedy genre. Focusing on it here helps bolster The Idea of You into a very accessible and enjoyable film.

People seeking a love story that doesn’t follow a familiar, almost expected blueprint may not enjoy The Idea of You as much as others. The movie follows a very typical romcom structure. As such, the twists and turns in the narrative may feel obvious and telegraphed. For some, this may be welcome as the film promises on its premise. Others may wonder if The Idea of You is bringing anything really new or novel to the table, and it’s a valid question. Of note, The Idea of You is steamy in a PG-13-plus kind of way. These sensual scenes are full of passion but are in a state of limbo where graphic acts are implied, but never explicitly shown.

The Idea of You is a lovely choice for date nights or fans of the genre in general. The formula may be the same as it ever was, but Showalter and Jessica Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) have such a knack for writing strong characters it remains nonetheless enjoyable. Highly recommended.  

Recommended if you enjoyed: Notting Hill, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Good Luck Leo Grande

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