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The Success of “The Idea Of You” Proves People Want to See Love on Screen

The Success of "The Idea Of You" Proves People Want to See Love on Screen

Grab some friends, a blanket and picky bits because we have great news — the traditional rom-com is back. After the release of Prime Video’s rom-com “The Idea of You,” starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine, the outpouring of the support for not only the film but for the genre itself has been loud. From the box-office success of Sydney Sweeney’s “Anyone But You” (making more than £175 million globally) to Netflix’s “Irish Wish,” starring Lindsay Lohan, we are seeing a rise in romantic comedy releases and success. There’s a subtle shift in the air that feels slightly nostalgic. We’re not talking drama-dies or tragic love tales or twisted romances, we’re talking a good old three-act joy-giving rom-com. It’s not overpowering yet like the rom-com boom of the 2000s — but there is a shift happening.

Based on the bestselling book, “The Idea of You” follows the love affair between a 40-year—old single mother, Solène (Hathaway) and Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), the lead singer of famous boy band August Moon. Before the film’s release, there was a hyper focus on the fact that Hathaway and Galitzine’s character had a 16—year age gap. But once the film was actually released, this became more of a detail. Instead the focus has been on the “exquisite casting” and the “intense chemistry” between the pair.

On X (formerly Twitter) users have been showering the film with praise. One user wrote: “‘The Idea of You’ has chemistry, vulnerability, a random item of clothing being left behind at someone’s house so they have an excuse to see each other again. Rom—com girlies, we eating good!” Whilst another wrote: “The number of women in my feed who watched ‘The Idea Of You’ — it’s literally insane that movie studios stopped releasing romantic comedies.”

https://x.com/hebennigatu/status/1786543439129043413

A third was hooked by their chemistry writing: “Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway’s insane chemistry has me yelping, screaming and kicking my feet through the entirety of “The Idea Of You”. It was sweet, sexy, tender and angsty — a really great romance film.” And this fan just summed up the majority of women’s thoughts: “I just need Hollywood to realise that all we want is to watch people fall in love and be horny for each other. It’s not rocket science.”

In recent years, studio’s have reduced the steady stream of rom—coms on the big screen. Leading the charge and box offices were the superhero blockbusters or the hard-hitting action films. But will the recent success of films like “The Idea of You” and “Anyone But You” really make sustained change for the genre?

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Perhaps it’s not that rom-coms ever really died, but instead they are just dominating the small screens rather than the big ones. Apart from “Anyone But You” and “Crazy Rich Asians” in recent years, rom-coms haven’t had as much box-office success in theatres, but they are huge success elsewhere. Rom-coms are really thriving on streaming platforms and that shouldn’t be viewed as ‘less’ of a success. Many of the films on streaming platforms are still generating similar amounts of buzz and if anything, some may say that streaming platforms are more accessible for many globally.

The positive response to the film and its success is just a clear indication that there is still an appetite for rom-coms. People want to watch people fall in love on their screens. Rom-coms have always provided that much-needed lightness and feel-good factor. They provide entertainment but also they evoke a feeling of hope. They make people feel hopeful about their own lives. Romantic comedies are always aspirational about the world. The hard-hitting moving stories that have been dominating the cinemas are also great, but sometimes we all just need a dose of silly, fun romance — and rom-coms do just that for audiences.

The rom-com revival, and there is good evidence for it finally, couldn’t have come soon enough.

Aaliyah Harry (she/her) is the associate editor at PS UK. She writes extensively across lifestyle, culture and beauty. Aaliyah also has a deep passion for telling stories and giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has contributed to Refinery29, Grazia UK and The Voice Newspaper.