The Idea of You Movie Review

Deepanjana Pal

Based on the Bestselling Book

The Idea of You takes the taboo-edged trope of the May-December romance and turns it on its head by making the woman the older one in the relationship and presenting the romance as scandalous but heartwarming.

After May December

Director Todd Haynes looked at this topic recently in May December, but it was framed as an exploration of abuse with Julianne Moore playing a woman who groomed a teenage boy to become her lover.

Simpler and Fluffier

The Idea of You, filmed in sun-kissed warmth and popping with bright colours and an upbeat soundtrack, is a simpler and fluffier film. However, its intent is arguably bolder than what Haynes lays out with his excellent film. 


A straightforward romance whose underlying message is that there’s nothing wrong with an older woman falling in love (and lust) with a man younger than her. This simplicity is what makes it radical.  

Fans of the Book

Fans of the book might feel under-served by the film, which makes Hayes a few years older and Solène is shown as more vulnerable than their bookish avatars. Galitzine is charming as Hayes, but the film doesn’t show him working on himself the way Hayes does in the book.

Respects the Original Text

It grounded the love story in real-life pragmatism after taking the reader on multiple flights of fantasy. The film respects the choices made in the book and although strictly speaking, The Idea of You doesn’t have a happily-ever-after, it does hold out the possibility of one