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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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“The Idea of You” (Movie Review)

Alisha Wetherill/Prime
Anne Hathaway as Solène and Nicholas Galitzine as Hayes Campbell star in “The Idea of You.”

I may not be the biggest fan of this film, but I will bet you $100 that somewhere in the world, Harry Styles is discussing its merits with his Zoom therapist as we speak.   

Is it basically a two-hour sampling of Wattpad fan fiction coming to life? I mean, technically, yes, but so what? Even if it does lean heavily on fan service, what are romantic comedies even for then? That said, if the service the fans receive is less than stellar, as is the case with this film, some fans might prefer not to be serviced at all.   

“The Idea of You” comes to us from acclaimed director, writer, and comedian Michael Showalter. Formerly of the stellar sketch comedy troupe “Stella,” Showalter has become a media megalodon in recent years. From writing to acting to directing, he has a distinct flavor of comedy that combines levity and dissatisfaction, never letting an ounce of potential heart and hilarity pass him by. Well, at least usually…  

Naturally, when I first found out that Showalter was directing a romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway that was released right around my birthday, I was on cloud nine, strike that; cloud ten. When I finally sat down to watch the film, I didn’t think there was a quantifiable number of clouds to be on that properly expressed my excitement.   

I steadily deflated throughout the film as I realized that Showalter had all but abandoned his original sensibilities in favor of mild mainstream success. This may not be important to most people but for a longtime fan of Showalter like me? Massive bummer.   

While I found the film to be an overall disappointment, it was not the worst movie I’ve seen this year. It’s actually fine, it’s passable. It’s inoffensive? I’m sorry, but at the end of the day, I expected more from Showalter. He is a comedian by training, and this movie just wasn’t funny. There may be one or two times when you would exhale out your nose harder than usual, but that’s pretty much the best you can hope for.   

For those unsullied by comedic expectations, I imagine the romantic aspect of the film is actually somewhat enjoyable. It’s not Hathway’s best film in a long shot. Honestly, it doesn’t even crack the top 40, but it does do essentially what it claimed it would do: provide footage of an Oscar-winning actress wearing an unmatched face foundation and making out with the guy from “Bottoms.”    

The plot follows a 40-year-old mom (Hathaway) who strikes up a romance with the frontman of a jet-setting boyband (Nicholas Galitzine). After meeting her at Coachella where she attended with her teenage daughter, the unapologetic Harry Styles stand-in finds himself taken with Hathway’s character (understandable) and then stalks her to her place of business (less understandable).   

To be frank, I’m a little torn on this one. Maybe if I hadn’t had different expectations based on the director, I would’ve liked it more. I mean, there are some emotional moments, for sure, and the story is fine for what the movie is. At the end of the day, I barely remember anything that happened.   

The main problem is that there seems to be no reason for the main couple to be together aside from physical attraction. While this is a fine base from which to spawn a mild romantic interest in someone, it wasn’t a strong enough bond to hold the movie together.   

Fittingly, the idea of “The Idea of You” is immeasurably better than the execution. Skip it. Don’t skip it. At the end of the day, your life will be the same, and if you’re really jonesing for an unrealistic Hathaway romance, I’d recommend revisiting “Ella Enchanted.”


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Gabi Merchen
Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer
Gabi is a fifth-year transfer student from the University of Oklahoma (OU), now Gabi is looking to obtain her bachelor's degree in communication at USAO. She is from Yukon. She loves writing and has been contributing to local and scholastic publications since 2015. Gabi also participates in two choral groups on campus. When she isn't in class, Gabi likes to spend her time crafting, crocheting, and rewatching the same three sitcoms over and over again.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Jan. 2023 - Apr. 2023