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Film: The Idea Of You.
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, Ella Rubin, Reid Scott, Annie Mumolo, Perry Mattfeld, Jordan Aaron Hall, Mathilda Gianopoulos
Directed: Michael Showalter   
Rating: 3/5
Runtime: 115 min

The latest romantic comedy from Michael Showalter (The Big Sick), is a generic meet-cute that is mushy and endearing. This film is based on the acclaimed, contemporary love story of the same name by Robinne Lee, and centers on 40-year-old single mom, someone who has little faith left in love, Solène (Anne Hathaway), who inadvertently falls in love with an emotionally cautious 24-year-old Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet.

Solène, who was looking forward to a solo camping trip, is forced to take her ex-husband Daniel’s (Reid Scott) place to chaperone her teenage daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin) to the Coachella Music Festival.  A chance encounter with Hayes, leads to more meetings and eventually love sets in with all its accompanied age-gap and fame-related complications. The whirlwind affair changes the Silver Lake mother’s life and, her relationship with her daughter also gets affected. So Solene is forced to line-up her own priorities while confronting vicious online vitriol of Hayes’ rabid fanbase.

The narrative is studded with memorable romantic numbers wonderfully performed by the lead star Nicholas Galitzine. ‘So I’ll wait a lifetime or two with the idea of you’ title track, ‘I Got You’, ‘Taste’,‘Closer’, ‘Guard down’, ‘Dance Before we walk’, ‘Go Rogue’ – all by Nicholas Galitzine and ‘Light on’ by Maggie Rogers, mostly written by Savan Kotecha, stay with you long after the movie is done. They are all potential hits in the making and are likely to fuel a cult craze for this May-December love story. The cinematography by Jim Frohna, Production design by Amy Williams, Editing by Peter Teschner and background score by Siddhartha Khosla add fuel to the romance we experience in all its glory, here.

Hathaway is the one who holds your attention throughout. As a mother torn between an established well-oiled routine and the risk of a relationship with Hayes, she is imminently believable. She brings her own vulnerabilities to the role and does well to allow Galitzine to hold his own. The chemistry between the two leads may not be palpable but there’s enough tenderness and passion in the by play to make it feel believable. Other than the first accidental meeting which comes across as contrived, the subsequent meetings between the  two play out quite convincingly. Showalter also manages to make the romance come good as opposed to ending envisaged in Lee’s book.

Showalter makes this a sleek, feel-good romcom that delivers the requisite laughs and coasts along largely on the magnetism of its leads. And there’s no doubt that only Anne Hathaway could have made this fantasy role look so plausible.



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