10 Movies Similar to The Idea of You That You Will Love

Image Credit: Alisha Wetherill/Prime

With Michael Showalter at the helm, ‘The Idea of You’ chronicles the romance between Solène, a 40-year-old single mom, and Hayes Campbell, the 24-year-old singer for an immensely popular boyband. An incidental meetup at the Coachella Music Festival has Hayes smitten by Solène, who initially denies their spark, fearing their age gap. As Hayes continues to pursue Solène, the two become entangled in a passionate romance. Solène’s dreamlike entry into Hayes’ luxurious life is soon followed by the bright glare of the paparazzi’s flashing cameras, presenting unavoidable social challenges. The Prime Video film is highlighted by the actor’s impeccable chemistry and blaring romantic themes, possibly causing viewers to search for more movies like ‘The Idea of You.’

10. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)

Directed by Robert Luketic, ‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!’ follows the story of small-town girl Rosalee Futch, who wins a date with her celebrity crush and Hollywood heartthrob Tad Hamilton in a contest. As Rosalee’s tryst with Tad captivates the nation’s attention, she finds herself thrust into the glitzy world of celebrity, challenging her values and aspirations. Meanwhile, Tad’s superficial persona begins to unravel as he discovers genuine connection and affection for Rosalee.

Their unlikely dynamic is further complicated by Rosalee’s best friend and coworker, Pete, who has been hiding his overwhelming love for her. For those who enjoyed the element of a woman being introduced to a glamorous new world of a star in ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!’ presents a romantic narrative with endearing characters and witty dialogue.

9. Adore (2013)

Also known as ‘Adoration,’ the romantic drama follows childhood friends Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright) as they spend a summer together around their picturesque beach town with their grown-up sons. The sons, close friends, find themselves attracted to each other’s mothers, marking the start of a series of scandalous, poignant, and thought-provoking events. Like in ‘The Idea of You,’ the romance between an older woman and a younger man is both tantalizing and cause for friction. Under the direction of Anne Fontaine, the film explores the social dynamics that come into play due to the age gaps and the interplay between public acceptability and personal fulfillment.

8. A Good Woman (2004)

With Mike Barker at the helm, ‘A Good Woman’ transports us to 1930s Italy, as the charismatic Mrs. Erlynne arrives on the picturesque Amalfi Coast seeking to seduce the young and dashing Lord Windermere. Her advances disrupt the local high society, making her the talk of the town, while the young Lady Windermere (Scarlett Johansson) remains oblivious to her intentions in her naivety. Erlynne piques the interest of a wise English gentleman, while Mrs. Windermere draws the attention of several distinct young men. Amidst swirling rumors and a grand birthday celebration, the building desires will play out while masked behind wit and charm.

The film is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 1892 play, ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan.’ For the enthusiasts of films like ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘A Good Woman’ presents an atmosphere of palpable romantic tension and the portrait of a charming older woman living uninhibitedly and several characters on their journeys of self-exploration.

7. Beyond the Lights (2014)

Helmed by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, ‘Beyond the Lights’ follows the journey of Noni Jean, a rising pop star burdened by the pressures of fame and expectations from a young age. As Noni struggles to maintain her public image while grappling with inner turmoil, she finds solace in Kaz Nicol, a dedicated police officer with aspirations beyond his current station. Their unlikely bond blossoms into a deep and genuine connection, offering Noni a glimpse of the authenticity she craves.

Similar to ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘Beyond the Lights’ presents a touching romance between a celebrity and a regular person. With Kaz at her side, Noni begins to rediscover herself and reevaluates her ideals, relationships, and professional choices.

6. Prime (2005)

In the directorial hands of Ben Younger, ‘Prime’ offers a hilarious rom-com experience with refreshing takes on age and relationships. The film introduces us to Rafi Gardet (Uma Thurman), who is a 37-year-old photography producer going to therapy after a recent divorce. Rafi confesses that she feels much better because of a guilty yet immensely passionate relationship she has developed with a young painter. Her therapist, Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep), encourages her relationship on the grounds of self-love.

However, Lisa accidentally discovers that Rafi is talking about her only son, David, leading to comedic misadventures and uproarious scenarios. Just as Solène does in ‘The Idea of You,’ Rafi grapples with insecurities about her age and the judgment of those around her. Yet despite their age gap and societal expectations, women in both films create a passionate relationship filled with laughter, intimacy, and self-discovery.

5. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

With Audrey Wells in the director’s chair, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ takes on a picturesque journey through the lush landscapes of Italy’s Tuscan countryside. The film centers on Frances Mayes, a recently divorced writer who impulsively purchases a villa in Tuscany in hopes of starting anew. As Frances strives to renovate the fixer-upper she has purchased, she is met with a number of colorful characters. She is especially assisted by the jovial real estate agent, Martini, and despite initial challenges and setbacks, continues on her journey of reinvention. For fans of ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ tells a charming tale with rom-com elements, highlighted by its rustic countryside backdrops.

4. Purple Hearts (2022)

Directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, ‘Purple Hearts’ revolves around the shifting relationship of Cassie Salazar, a waitress and type 1 diabetic with dreams of becoming a famous singer, and Luke Morrow (Nicholas Galitzine), a Marine soon-to-be deployed to Iraq. Facing financial problems and health struggles, the two meet at a bar and agree to a fake marriage for availing benefits provided to couples by the army. While creating their facade, they bond over shared fears and dreams. Luke’s deployment strengthens their connection as they routinely converse through emails and calls, inspiring Cassie in her songwriting.

However, tragedy strikes when Luke is injured, and Cassie is forced to care for him as his wife. For fans of romance who liked Galitzine’s performance in ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘Purple Hearts’ presents a refreshing and heartfelt narrative. The protagonists and the storyline are grounded from the start, the weight of each of their lives is left by the other, and lessened by a genuine bond forming between them.

3. Secretary (2002)

Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) returns home from a psychiatric institution and lands a job as a secretary for a demanding attorney, E. Edward Grey (James Spader). The two develop a sensual relationship centering around their work, which soon spills over to their personal lives. Under the direction of Steven Shainberg, the film presents a narrative of empowerment and sexual awakening that reflects some elements of ‘The Idea of You.’ As their dynamic intensifies, the once awkward and sensitive Lee finds solace in their unconventional bond, discovering her own desires and sense of self-worth.

2. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022)

Under the direction of Sophie Hyde, ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ narrates the story of Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a retired school teacher who wants to go on an adventure and experience an orgasm for the first time in her life. To this end, she hires a young sex worker, Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack). While Nancy is initially awkward and apprehensive, Leo helps her relax, breaking the ice as the two talk and dance.

For those interested in the age gap and its play in ‘The Idea of You,’ ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’ details a charming and comedic exploration of that element cranked up to a greater extent. The film flows effortlessly with well-written dialogues, creating life-affirming discourses on openness, positivity, and adventure.

1. Love & Other Drugs (2010)

Directed by Edward Zwick, ‘Love & Other Drugs’ introduces us to Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal), a charming pharmaceutical sales representative with a knack for seduction. His carefree lifestyle takes a turn when he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), a free-spirited woman with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. The two have a casual fling yet find themselves repeatedly gravitating toward each other.

However, the specter of Maggie’s worsening Parkinson’s hangs over their evolving relationship, causing a flux of love, apprehensions, and longing. Like in ‘The Idea of You,’ Anne Hathaway brilliantly essays a character who is uncertain about a future with her popular partner, calling into question if love can indeed overcome all obstacles. And, of course, both films present steamy scenes in equal measure.

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