Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Is ‘The Idea of You’ Really Harry Styles Fanfic?

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The Idea of You

Photo: Alisha Wetherill/Prime Video

Onscreen, Nicholas Galitzine has pretended to be a British prince, U.S. Marine, and football himbo who’s deathly allergic to pineapple. Now he has a new role: Harry Styles — or at least someone who seems really, really similar.

Galitzine stars opposite Anne Hathaway in the upcoming Amazon rom-com The Idea of You. It’s about a 40-year-old mom named Solène who accompanies her teen daughter to Coachella. Instead of getting trampled by TikTok influencers, she meets a boy-band heartthrob who’s 20 years her junior. They fall in love, and she is forced to wonder: Is it worth having an amorous affair that could rejuvenate your life if it means occasionally getting called a “cougar”?

The film’s source material is a 2017 book of the same name by Robinne Lee, who has also acted in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. In an interview, Lee said she was inspired to write The Idea of You after surfing music videos while her husband was away on business: “I came across the face of a boy I’d never seen in a band I’d never paid attention to, and it was so aesthetically perfect it took me by surprise.” She developed the character Hayes Campbell, who like Styles, is in a five-person boy band. He loves a hot older woman. And their first names even have the same first letter.

Though Galitzine’s Campbell looks and sounds like Styles — they have the same bad arm tattoos, and some of the former One Direction star’s songwriters worked on the soundtrack — Lee has been coy when pressed on the matter. “Inspired is a strong word,” she told Vogue. Okay, but how about Larry Stylinson on the big screen next?

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