Anne Hathaway shines in 'The Idea of You' tackling gender roles in relationships

Still from 'The Idea Of You'. Photo: IMDb

Men in their 30s, 40s, or 50s dating significantly younger women is generally considered as an accepted societal norm and is typically unquestionable. While it may be discussed, it often carries a connotation of the man being viewed as a heroic figure. However, if the situation were reversed, with older women dating much younger men, it tends to be frowned upon by the same society, leading to name-calling and slut-shaming. This double standard serves as the central theme of the latest Anne Hathaway starrer, 'The Idea of You', based on the novel of the same name by Robinne Lee.

Starring Nicholas Galitzine alongside Anne Hathaway, the film shows the story of Solène, a 40-year-old woman, who gets into a relationship with Hayes Campbell, a 24-year-old pop star. The movie explores the complexities that arise in their relationship due to societal perceptions and double standards of people.

The movie has a breezy vibe, presenting a radiant Hathaway, as chirpy as ever, emerging as the undeniable force driving the story. Initially showing itself as a delightful rom-com, the chemistry between Hathaway and Galitzine is exceptional. However, as the story progresses, it explores the intricate gender dynamics it aims to address.

Spoiler alert: Proceed further only if you've watched the movie. At 40, Solène is aware, or at least believes, that pursuing a relationship with Hayes would be deemed unconventional. Despite this, she finds herself charmed by his allure and surrenders to the connection. Yet, she soon grapples with the societal stigma surrounding their age gap, feeling compelled to keep their romance under wraps.

Her ex-husband, who cheated on her and left, reinforces society's judgment, asserting that any involvement with a man in his twenties is nonsensical—a sentiment she reluctantly agrees with. Even her 16-year-old daughter, initially supportive of her mother's choice, eventually succumbs to the pressure of societal ridicule, revealing the harsh reality of public scrutiny, especially within her school community.

In an era marked by numerous advancements and discussions about progress, it's puzzling that society still imposes rigid expectations on women regarding their behaviour and life choices. Particularly concerning is the persistent notion that motherhood should act as a barrier to women's romantic pursuits and personal fulfilment.

The movie subtly, yet boldly, tackles these issues. While it may veer into cheesy territory at times, overall, it leaves viewers with a positive impression. It also explores the generational gap between Gen Z and Millennials, showing how the former often views the latter as outdated and cringeworthy. But most importantly, the film avoids being preachy; instead of dictating what's right or wrong, it encourages introspection. If it prompts viewers to ponder, it's the film's triumph.|
The film is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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