4 Things I Liked About The Idea Of You (And 4 Things I Didn't)

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Anne Hathaway is one of the romantic movie queens. She brings charm to rom-coms and incites emotions with her romantic dramas. Hathaway can do it all. Nicholas Galitzine is a rising star with a stellar body of work that allows him to showcase his talent for making on-screen chemistry seem effortless. As a fan of both, I was looking forward to watching The Idea of You.

The Prime Video romantic film captures the excitement and pitfalls of dating a celebrity. The Idea of You has a lot to admire, but a few things didn’t work.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Idea of You. Proceed with caution. 

Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Like: The Chemistry Between Solène And Hayes 

I would gladly watch every romantic film starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine. On-screen chemistry with multiple partners is a skill that only some actors can achieve, so I automatically support actors who can do it. Both are part of that exclusive club. 

I can trust them to create on-screen chemistry that feels natural and authentic. Therefore, it’s electrifying to see these two romantic movie stars play off each other. We almost feel like we’re invading their private moments. 

The chemistry between Solène and Hayes is the best part of The Idea of You. It’s a blush-inducing attraction that translates into all aspects of the movie (including the intimacy scenes). 

You can’t help but root for them. The fundamental job of a romantic movie is to endear you to the leads. You need to want their issues resolved and a happily-ish ever after. The Idea of You succeeds in that goal. 

Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Didn’t Like: The Pacing Of The Idea Of You 

It’s hard to make a book to screen adaptation. A director must figure out what they believe is relevant to the story. This can sometimes leave a film feeling like too much is going on and also not enough. The Idea of You has that problem.

I wanted more of some things and less of others. In particular, I wanted more time spent on Solène and Hayes’s relationship when it became public. We could have seen more ways they didn’t work in each other’s lives at this point. They’re only an official public couple within the last 30 minutes, and that doesn’t even take up the full final act. Maybe the film didn’t need a full hour of their new harsh romantic reality, but we could have seen a few additional scenes that emphasized why it didn’t work beyond just the public shaming and bullying. 

How about some more interactions with them dealing with friends and family, and just trying to live a normal life while being famous? Pacing and structuring the film with more time on their public romance could have added more thoughtful and insightful layers to this story.

Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea Of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Like: The Music Integration  

I used to go to concerts, music festivals, and the occasional meet and greet in my youth. So watching the concert scenes, Coachella scenes, and the meet and greet made me nostalgic for when I embraced the passion of fangirl life. The Idea Of You director Michael Showalter perfectly captures the feeling of those types of moments and events.

Though the songs aren’t everlasting movie songs that I plan to listen to on repeat, they sound like realistic pop music. I can imagine them playing repeatedly on radio stations. They especially make me reminiscent of my old boyband craze days. The music aspects are so fun and nostalgic that I wish the film incorporated it more. I also wish we saw more of Hayes’s evolution as a pop artist and that journey from boyband to soloist.

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Didn’t Like: How It Approaches The Conversation On Societal Double Standards 

I support and think The Idea of You presents a very important topic. Older women who date younger men are judged more harshly than older men who date younger women. However, I do believe that the cultural conversations have changed to scrutinize both genders for age-gap relationships. Men don’t automatically get a pass or praise for dating younger anymore. But, we still see films where the romantic male character is much older than the female character and it’s treated as normal and acceptable. 

So, this is a conversation that I am glad The Idea of You tackles. I just wish they trusted the audience more to understand the depth of this conversation. The film has characters bluntly stating the double standards in this situation. The film doesn’t allow viewers to reach this conclusion on their own. More scenes could have been created to demonstrate this prejudice and to inspire thought-provoking reflection on society’s double standards. 

Many may say it’s a romantic film, so we shouldn’t take it too seriously. However, I think the age-gap romance topic naturally allows for more engaging thinking. Therefore, I wish the film didn’t hold the audience’s hands and trusted them to understand.

Cheech Manohar and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Like: The Ending Of The Idea Of You 

I have never read The Idea of You by Robinne Lee, but I know the book's ending is controversial. Many in my book groups immediately saw red when the movie adaptation was announced. Luckily, I remain unspoiled on the book's ending. 

I don’t know how closely the film follows it, but I know I felt (mostly) satisfied with it. The Idea of You ends in a way that leans into the concept that if you’re meant to be with someone eventually everything works out. The romantic in me subscribes to that belief. Additionally, the fact that Solène and Hayes don’t find others to love in five years shows that they weren’t just a fling. They were meant for each other. It’s a very reminiscent ending to some great romantic movies and TV shows, including Notting Hill, one of my personal favorites. 

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Didn’t Like: The Build Up To The Ending 

Now I think the actual ending was great, but the build to it felt lackluster. This all ties back into the pacing issues. They break up, then get back together, and then break up again. Their public relationship felt rushed. I love that Solène put Izzy (Ella Rubin) first and broke up with Hayes. However, the whole breakup lacks some of the emotional devastation and impact it needs. This is because there is so little time between it and the five year-flash forward. We need to mourn their break up and yearn for their reunion. We get none of this. 

I also wanted to see Solène have some sort of happiness and love life without Hayes. She could have dated (in a quick speed run of the last five years) but ultimately ended up alone again because he’s so meant for her. It kind of left the bad impression that mothers don’t get romance and happiness when their children are children. It shouldn’t feel like either you sacrifice it all for your child or you neglect them for romance. There can be something in between.

Anne Hathaway and Ella Rubin in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Like: Solène And Izzy’s Relationship  

Izzy and Solène have a very endearing mother-and-daughter relationship. We only see some of it throughout, however, we see and hear enough about it to understand their strong bond. Solène is a really good mother and Izzy is a loving and understanding daughter. It’s a mother-and-daughter dream team.

Therefore, it’s completely understandable that Solène wants to make the decision that’s best for Izzy, and that means ending her relationship with Hayes. It’s a true and beautiful love when a mother puts her children first. 

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Didn’t Like: How The Idea Of You Became Too Predictable At Times 

This could be more of a me thing than the film’s issue. I am a romantic movie connoisseur, and have seen so many of them. Therefore, maybe I have just seen some of the types of scenes, dialogue, and storylines way too many times. Romance movies can be simple and comforting. Therefore, some may prefer a romance movie playbook. That’s fine, I just wish The Idea of You pushed itself to do things differently.

I will commend the movie for one particular unpredictable scene: When Eva (Perry Mattfeld) points out Dan’s (Reid Scott) hypocrisy and announces that she’s leaving him. This scene shocked and pleased me. It’s an unexpected scene that adds some depth to her character. It also ends in a really funny way. I wanted more unconventional and unexpected scenes like that. You rarely see the other woman show kindness and dump the cheater. 

The Idea of You has plenty of good ideas so I look forward to watching it again one day. With some tweaks, it could have been a top-tier romance movie. 

Stream The Idea of You on Prime Video. 

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.