The Idea of You review – Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine spark in crowd-pleasing romcom

A single mum and a boyband heart-throb make sweet music in Michael Showalter’s precision-tooled adaptation of Robinne Lee’s bestseller.

From the crackling Coachella meet-cute between 40-year-old single mum Solène (Anne Hathaway) and 24-year-old boyband heart-throb Hayes (Nicholas Galitzine), to the on-point wardrobe choices (she’s chic but not try-hard; he’s adorable in a grey ombre mohair cardie), to the lavish stage shows, to the sparking chemistry between the pair: this adaptation of Robinne Lee’s romantic novel is a sleek, precision-tooled crowd pleaser. Some of the music is insipid (although Galitzine, performing his own vocals, acquits himself soulfully). Elsewhere, though, there’s an unexpectedly abrasive quality to Michael Showalter’s romcom.

Solène is enviably poised, the kind of woman who rarely feels the need to apologise for herself. But while the film’s message, that women over 40 have every right to romantic fulfilment, is empowering, it also acknowledges that finding love with an impossibly pretty, sweet-natured pop star comes with its own unique set of challenges. That said, this adaptation wisely departs from the novel’s downbeat conclusion and permits Solène and Hayes a ray of hope for the future.

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