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'The Idea of You': a Review of the Harry Styles-Inspired Rom-Com

Entertainment

Mon, May 06

Warning: This article WILL contain spoilers and discuss the movie's plot.

The popular and slightly controversial movie, The Idea Of You, was released last week. The film is adapted from a novel that was loosely based on Harry Styles fan-fiction written by Robinne Lee.

The Idea Of You focuses on the captivating love story between SolĂ©ne, a 40-year-old single mom and gallerist played by the beloved actress Anne Hathaway, and Hayes Campbell, the 24-year-old member of a famous boy band called Austin Moon, played by Nicholas Galitzine. Critics like Vanity Fair describe the movie as, “glossy and smart, a cut above the slop so often served to its intended audience. It may force a neat ending, it may strain logic, it may leave some intriguing avenues unexplored, but The Idea of You is otherwise transporting, a fairy tale worthy of a big screen."

While the movie is a feel-good romantic comedy that explores the stages of a blossoming relationship, viewers are reminded of the harmful reality that popular artists face when going public with their relationships and the damage that parasocial relationships and obsessive fans can have on celebrities and their partners.

Photo by Danny Howe on Unsplash

Plot

Their love story started at Coachella when an annoyed Soléne had to cancel her camping trip to take her daughter Izzy to the festival. Soléne had no choice but to drive them to Coachella because her ex-husband Daniel bought them tickets to an Austin Moon meet and greet but couldn't take them to it last minute.

Soléne was understandably upset when they got to Coachella and let Izzy and her friends see different artists perform on stage while she waited for the Austin Moon meet and greet to start. She ended up mistaking Hayes' trailer's bathroom for a public restroom and bumped into him there.

She had a slightly awkward but tension-filled first encounter with him as he was confused but intrigued by why a random person was using his private bathroom. Hayes was nevertheless curious about her and asked Soléne to stay in the trailer so he could talk to her more. They had a heart-warming first interaction where Hayes found out that Soléne was divorced and about the situation surrounding her ex-husband bailing on her. Hayes and Soléne parted ways because Hayes had to get ready for the meet and greet and Soléne had to find her daughter and her friends.

Soléne met up with her daughter Izzy and her friends at the Austin Moon meet and greet. Izzy and her friends noticed that there was obvious tension between Soléne and Hayes which caused one of her friends to mention how Hayes should stop by and check out Soléne's art gallery. Hayes quickly agreed as he and his band got rushed out of the meet and greet so they could perform at their Coachella stage.

During their performance, Hayes made a last-minute decision to dedicate a song called Closer to a special someone whom he met earlier that day. Soléne and Izzy thought that it was sweet and an obvious sign that he liked her a lot.

Photo by Nicolas LB on Unsplash

After the concert, Soléne celebrated her 40th birthday and tried to go on several different double dates, but no one caught her eye. She was disappointed because she wanted to move on and find someone new. A couple of days, later Hayes visited Soléne's gallery and was ultimately convinced to buy all the art pieces in it. Hayes and Soléne ended up going back to her house to get to know each other better after he admitted to finding her very attractive and wanting to find out everything about her.

At her house, Hayes and Soléne discussed Soléne's divorce and Hayes's family drama. Hayes discussed how tiring his relationship was between him and his estranged father. This encouraged Soléne to open up about how her ex-husband cheated on her with a younger woman and all of her co-workers and friends knew except for her which made her feel stupid, betrayed, and left out.

Photo by Dannie Jing on Unsplash

Hayes empathized with and listened to her traumatic experience which led to them having a passion-filled moment in her house. Soléne got scared and asked him to leave because she didn't know how they could make their new relationship work because of their 16-year age gap. Later on, Hayes managed to get Soléne's number and started texting her about how he needed to see her again, how he was going on tour soon, and how she should join him on it.

She ended up caving and met him at one of his hotels. This was the start of their love story.

Soléne joined Hayes on his world tour and they got to understand each other better. After the tour ended, Soléne and Hayes went to hang out with the members of Austin Moon and their partners at a beach house. Soléne discovered from his friends that Hayes had major playboy tendencies and originally dedicated the song Closer to another older girl that he was in love with.

This caused Soléne to decide to break up with him because he wasn't truly honest with her about different things, and because she was still reliving the trauma from her last relationship. After this, Soléne went back home and found out that their relationship was leaked to the public. She was faced with the realization that fans of Austin Moon were very angry that their idol was dating someone, let alone a person who was 16 years older than him.

Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Soléne had a heart-to-heart with Izzy about what she should do about her relationship with Hayes, and her daughter wanted them to get back together. This talk encouraged Soléne to talk to Hayes about their relationship and they got back together.

After a while, Soléne and her daughter Izzy noticed how overwhelmed they were by the amount of hate that Soléne received online from the public. People also started to tease Izzy at school about her mother's relationship. This pushed Soléne to put her family first and break up with Hayes when he returned from his second world tour.

Hayes returned from his tour and begged Soléne to not forget him and to wait 5 years before they could be together. He thought that in 5 years the hate would die down and Austin Moon would be an irrelevant boy band that no one cared about.

Does She Wait for Him?

I was shocked to find out that Soléne did get back together with him after 5 years. I thought that Soléne would move on and date someone new. In the book, The Idea Of You, Soléne and Hayes do not get back together, so I was surprised to see that they went a different route than the book ending. I liked the new ending because it made the rom-com feel more lighthearted and sweet.

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

Review

I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. As I rom-com lover, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because it is based on Harry Styles fan-fiction. As much as I liked the movie, the age gap between Soléne and Hayes was still kind of weird to think about, but you slowly get used to it.

It also helps that Anne Hathaway looks younger than 40 years old. If you are a fan like me of Nicholas Galitzine's previous film Red, White & Royal Blue, I think that you will enjoy this film. This movie has become one of my favorites to rewatch as I've seen it like 5 times already.

I liked how the movie gave a closer look into how artists are affected by their toxic fan clubs. In the movie, it was really obvious how deeply affected Hayes was by how much his job was harming the people that he loved. It stuck with me when he said “ I auditioned for the band when I was 14. It shouldn't ruin a whole life.” That statement showed how much the hate was getting to him and how much it was impacting his love life.

Another thing that I liked about The Idea Of You was its unconventional advertising. A few months before the movie was released, Austin Moon created a TikTok account and Spotify account where they promoted their new songs that would be played in the movie at Coachella. It was really fun to listen to an album from a fictional boy band leading up to the release of the movie.

I feel like this advertising made people more connected and excited to watch the actual movie. Overall, I would give this movie a 9.5/10.

Rated R. Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes. In theaters.

Natalie-Olivia Corn
1,000+ pageviews

Natalie-Olivia Corn is a sophomore at Harrison High School. She loves writing, reading, traveling, and listening to K-Pop. She is dedicated to sharing the most honest, and interesting stories that she can with her readers. She also loves the way that Journalism can spread awareness through voices that are not always often heard.

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