ATLFF: ‘The Idea of You’ and Michael Showalter’s Idea of Romance

Written by Matt Rodriguez

Michael Showalter has been directing romantic comedies since the early 2000’s. From The Baxter to The Big Sick to The Lovebirds to Spoiler Alert, his films have all explored different aspects of romance. His latest romantic comedy is The Idea of You, and it stars Anne Hathaway as a single mom who finds herself in a relationship with the young lead singer of the hottest boy band in the world, played by Nicholas Galitzine. The Georgia-shot film had its premiere at the Opening Night of the Atlanta Film Festival and Showalter walked the red carpet where he discussed his own ideas of romance with Shakefire, and how they’ve changed, or stayed the same, in the years he’s been making movies.

“My earlier films; Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, when they came together there was kind of a satirical quality to them,” Showalter explained in front of the Plaza Theatre in downtown Atlanta. “I’d say as I’ve kept going as a filmmaker it’s less satirical. There’s something that’s a little bit more earnest, a little bit more sincere.” He views this change in his films as his own natural progression and evolution, calling it neither a good thing or a bad thing, but just how it is.

The romance between Anne Hathaway’s Solène and Nicholas Galitzine’s Hayes does have a more grounded and realistic quality to it. Their passion on screen is palpable. Their chemistry is nothing new to Showalter’s films. We’ve seen it with Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge in Spoiler Alert, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae in The Lovebirds, and of course Kumail Nanjiani again and Zoe Kazan in The Big Sick. For all his romantic comedies, Showalter says that there needs to be “something about the movie that makes it feel like there’s more happening than just what’s happening.”

“Sometimes that’s something only I know,” he continues, “or sometimes that’s something that’s pretty clear in the movie. With this one for sure. This movie’s about so much more than just, ‘Are these two characters gonna fall in love?'”

Indeed The Idea of You explores more than just the romance between Solène and Hayes. As we mention in our review of the film, the romantic comedy hits on the impact fame and celebrity have on a relationship as well as the double standards men and women face while dating.

Showalter is currently filming the Christmas comedy Oh. What. Fun. again in Atlanta. The film stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dominic Sessa, Felicity Jones, and Denis Leary.

The Idea of You is now streaming on Prime Video.

About the author

Matt Rodriguez

Owner and Chief Editor of Shakefire.