‘The Idea of You’ dreams of a romance built on a very familiar idea

‘The Idea of You’ dreams of a romance built on a very familiar idea

If “Notting Hill” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” had a baby, it would look like “The Idea of You,” the May-August romantic pairing of Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine. Well acted by the lead actors, this story of a 40-year-old woman gets carried away by the same 20-something boy band stars playing genre hits while following all the same old steps.

Destined for Amazon, it’s a competent date or gals’night movie for those who don’t want to leave the house – Chardonnay preferred, but recommended – which makes sense, landing as it does on a middle ground that has struggled at the box office.

Cheated on and abandoned by her husband, Soléne (Hathaway) is a successful art gallery owner who is stuck at the last minute to take her teenage daughter and the children’s friends to Coachella, where her ex has bought a newspaper. experience with member August Moon, whose followers may lean more towards the masses.

A reluctant attendee, Soléne has a very cute moment with band member Hayes (Galitzine, of “Mary & George” and “Red, White & Royal Blue”) fame, stumbling upon his trailer thinking it’s a toilet.

After some awkward banter and obvious chemistry — which with the benefit of hindsight is about as good as the movie gets — Hayes shows up unexpectedly (by him, that is) at Soléne’s gallery, telling her sheepishly, “I guess I don’t often meet people like you.”

For a pop star, she’s very sensitive, which doesn’t do much to dispel her reticence, due to her age difference and fame.

Romance and complications ensue, with writer-director Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick” and “Spoiler Alert,” sharing script credit with Jennifer Westfeldt) adapting Robinne Lee’s novel in part by relying on familiar montages to handle some of the heavy lifting. If only the decorations were less tired, including the prying paparazzi and Reid Scott as Soléne’s ex who has no right to bend.

All that’s really left, then, is the interplay between Hathaway and Galitzine, with the latter (starring in her second Amazon movie in a year about a romance complicated by fame) doing double duty on the songs. The problem is that however they might work in terms of rooting for them as a couple, it’s hard to avoid the very real issue that the world he lives in and indeed people in general can be pretty bad.

“Your Idea” is likely to be most satisfying for those who choose not to care about the details, enjoying the scenery and fantasy wrapped up in it. Consider it one of those movies that truly cements the adage that there are no new ideas, just new versions of old ones set to a different beat.

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