'The Idea of You' review: May-December affair goes viral 2
Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in 'The Idea of You'
Culture

'The Idea of You' review: May-December affair goes viral

While there had been several films tackling a story of older women having affairs with younger men, this one is set during this current time when social media held sway.
Fred Hawson | May 10 2024

Art gallery owner Solène (Anne Hathaway) just turned 40 years old. She is divorced from her husband Daniel (Reid Scott), and they are co-raising their teenage daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin). One day, while she was chaperoning Izzy and her friends at Coachella, Solène inadvertently entered the trailer of 24 year-old teen idol Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), member of the world-famous boy band, August Moon, and had a quick chat with him.

With that brief initial encounter, she made quite an impression on Hayes, and he even dedicated a song to her during the show. After a few days, Hayes paid Solène a surprise visit at her art gallery and wound up at her house to eat sandwiches. Solène was initially concerned about their 14-year age gap, but she eventually agreed to accept his invitation to be with him in their New York and European gigs while Izzy was in summer camp.

This film about a viral May-December affair was co-written and directed by Michael Showalter, based on a novel by author Robinne Lee published in 2017.  While there had been several films tackling a story of older women having affairs with younger men, this one is set during this current time when social media held sway, and public opinion and bashing do have significant effects on real-life relationships and decisions. 

Anne Hathaway joins the long list of A-list actresses who have romanced a much-younger man onscreen, from Anne Bancroft ("The Graduate") in 1967 to Julianne Moore ("May December") in 2023. The smashing look Hathaway had here as Solene, there was no question why Hayes was smitten at first sight. Her beauty attracted him, her personality made him stay, 14-year age gap and tabloid paparazzi notwithstanding.

29-year old Nicholas Galitzine is on a hot streak as romantic leading man, after musical film "Cinderella" (2021), Netflix drama "Purple Hearts" (2022), and BL series "Red, White and Blue" (2023). He can really sing, so he could pull off the boy band scenes, and that was really his voice in the theme song. 

This film was more Anne Hathaway's show, but by the third act, Galitzine also made his mark as an actor, not only a heartthrob. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."