Review | ‘The Idea of You’: Quit playing games with our hearts

A romantic comedy works like a pop hit: The gimmick can be eye-rollingly silly, but the good ones commit to the bit. We acknowledge the corniness and still wind up singing along.

That happens in exactly one scene of Michael Showalter’s “The Idea of You,” the story of an uptight 40-year-old mom swept off her sensible shoes by the 24-year-old singer of a mega-famous boy band who boasts the British accent and fuzzy cardigans of Harry Styles. Early on, Solène (Anne Hathaway), a Los Angeles art gallery owner, is driving her daughter Izzy (Ella Rubin) to Coachella to see August Moon, the band Izzy adored back in seventh grade (which, to a 16-year-old, is the Stone Age). Solène’s ex David (Reid Scott) gifted their girl VIP meet-and-greet passes, not realizing she now prefers edgier artists. But then an August Moon song comes on the radio and these hunky lads harmonizing “haters gonna hate” dismantle the teenager’s too-cool defenses. She grooves in her seat with an embarrassed grin.

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