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The Idea of You


Stars Anne Hathaway & Nicholas Galitzine tell TV Week about their new rom-com The Idea of You

Viewers have seen numerous romantic comedies in which an older man romances a younger woman; Richard Gere was 40 when he starred in Pretty Woman, while co-star Julia Roberts was just 22, for example.

That Hollywood trope is turned on its head in The Idea of You, a new romantic comedy based on the bestselling novel by Robinne Lee. Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway stars as Solène, a 40-something single mom who hits it off with 24-year-old pop star Hayes (played by Nicholas Galitzine, recently seen in Mary & George and Red, White & Royal Blue) when she inadvertently walks into hi s trailer while accompanying her daughter to the Coachella music festival. That encounter sparks an unexpected romance that isn’t exactly nurtured by his status as music heartthrob, when their sweet romance is depicted in the media as being scandalous because Hayes is dating an older woman.

The Idea of You on Prime Video. Pictured: Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine.
© Amazon Content Services LLC

As Hathaway explains, that aspect lends a poignant edge that isn’t often seen in rom-coms. “Yes, it is a romantic comedy, but I feel it’s heartbreaking too,” she says. “And it should be. Because it is. Because why on Earth aren’t we just happy for each other? If you’re lucky enough to discover love in this crazy existence — which can sometimes be very painful — you should be happy for someone if they found someone who they have a good time with, who makes them feel lovely and laugh and smile and go through the hard times with.”

Ageism, though, is a current that underlies the film, and Hathaway admits it’s something she’s never quite been able to wrap her head around. “Well, I’m really curious where the instinct to diminish someone else comes from — the instinct to diminish someone based on their gender, based on their age, based on any number of factors,” she says. “I’m not interested in [doing] that. I’m really interested in being happy for people. And I feel fortunate to find myself, at 41 years old, with an incredibly fulfilling career. I’m worried that not everyone my age can say the same thing, and I am really grateful and proud to be making a film that furthers Robinne Lee’s desire to create a new archetype — a mother who is not just there as a nurturer, but is there as a whole person.”

The Idea of You on Prime Video. Pictured: Nicholas Galitzine
© Amazon Content Services LLC

Both Hathaway and Galitzine are rom-com veterans, and thus have a keen insight into why that particular genre resonates with viewers. “We all need to be loved and nourished, and even if the world [of the film] may feel kind of heightened, we’re all looking for that in our life,” Galitzine explains. “I think the thing that’s really brilliant about our movie is we’re not really doing these ‘winks’ to camera. It’s all pure and genuine, and I hope audiences really take that away with them.”

Hathaway too is a big fan of the genre. “It makes me happy!” she sums up, of films like The Idea of You. “Love is a wonderful thing. It’s hard to capture, hard to represent, but a movie that makes you believe in it is a really special thing. I also think that charm is a such an enjoyable thing — especially when it feels authentic. So much of the romantic comedy genre is based on two people enhancing each other, based on two people being pulled to each other like magnets. There’s something almost hypnotic about that. I really love it.”

The Idea of You, begins streaming Thursday, May 2 on Prime Video

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