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KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to and which are a pass. The Friday Film Review airs at 7:20 a.m., during the Noon News and in The Local View. KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are: Barb Bretz, Rick Brough, Mark Harrington and Linda Jager.

Friday Film Review | 'The Idea of You'

"The Idea of You" is an aspirational rom-com starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine about a world-famous pop star in his twenties who falls in love with a single mom in her 40s.

“The Idea of You” came to Amazon Prime video with legions of fans baked in from the novel with the same name written by Robinne Lee. The book, published in 2017, garnered a passionate word of mouth campaign with women obsessed with the love story. It became a pandemic sleeper hit. The book’s fans loved the idea of a strong, successful, single mom who catches the eye and heart of a much younger pop star, ala Harry Styles, and goes on a whirlwind romance with him.

No wonder Amazon jumped at the chance to make the film adaptation starring Anne Hathaway as Soléne Marchand who owns an art gallery and is on the cusp of turning (gasp!) 40 when we meet her. She runs into a member of August Moon, Hayes Campbell played by Nicholas Galitzine at Coachella when she accidentally mistakes his trailer for a bathroom.

The scene is cute and the chemistry between Marchand, who is 16 years older than Campbell, is clear from the start.

What’s this single mom doing at Coachella you may ask? She’s taking her daughter, Izzy (Ella Rubin) and friends for a meet and greet with August Moon, a gift from her father who bailed on taking Izzy when he was called away to work last minute.

Coachella is the last place Marchand wants to be, as she gave up her solo hiking adventure to take her daughter. But it was all fate, of course, because the chance meeting of Campbell sets Marchand off on a whirlwind May-December romance and Hollywood takes over.

Many fans of the book aren’t happy with how the director of the film, Michael Showalter who also wrote it with Jennifer Westfeldt, took this erotic feminist forward love story and turned it into a typical Hollywood romantic comedy.

I didn’t read the novel, so I didn’t come to the film with a lot of expectations of how close it stuck to the original story, but it’s not uncommon for Hollywood to change storylines to fit into algorithms based on streaming audiences.

The bulk of the film is watching these two gorgeous people romp around in hotel rooms, rainy Parisian alleyways, and private jets. It’s a beautiful escape from everyday life into the rarefied air of a pop star and a gorgeous gallery owner, and a fun way to spend two hours on a rainy weekend afternoon.

Hathaway might be 40 years old in the film (she looks 30) and it’s hard to make sense of the 16-year age difference as the heart of the issue. The film points out that if the shoe was on the other foot and he was older than she, there would be no issue whatsoever which is, of course, society’s double standard that we continue to accept.

I was really rooting for these two to stay together - they make a great couple - but the relationship must come to an end. Marchand breaks it off because once they go public the social media trolls and haters come out of the woodwork and make life hell for her and more importantly her daughter, Izzy. Marchand puts her daughter first, and her own needs last (now that I can relate to) and says good-bye to the love of her life. Cue the music and the tears. They say good-bye, but with a promise to meet up in five years.

I won’t spoil it here, but it’s Hollywood so you probably can guess how it ends.

“The Idea of You” is rated R and is streaming on Amazon.