THE IDEA OF YOU – Review by Nadine Whitney

Michael Showalter’s adaptation of Robinne Lee’s almost fan fiction novel The Idea of You is much better than it has any right to be. Starring Anne Hathaway as Solène Marchand, a recently divorced mother of sixteen-year-old Izzy (Ella Rubin) who finds herself falling for Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine) a twenty-four-year-old boy band heartthrob. Showalter knows his rom-coms. He’s done satirical rom-com, tragic rom-com, and almost tragic but not rom-com, and now with The Idea of You he’s adding in spicy to the recipe. The Idea of You is a sexy and wise movie.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 10, 2024: THE IDEA OF YOU

If you can suspend your disbelief about the fact that anyone would wonder why a straight man in his 20s would find Anne Hathaway attractive, The Idea of You is a sweet, thoughtful romantic comedy about seizing your joy where you’re lucky enough to find it and ignoring the haters. And the film is undeniably Hathaway’s, thanks to her appealing performance as a 40-year-old divorced mom who’s scared to believe in her own happy ending.

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THE IDEA OF YOU – Review by Loren King

There are many reasons why a formulaic May/December romance like The Idea of You might end up as nothing more than an eye roll of a cliche-ridden film. That it not only works but is surprisingly fresh and touching is due to the textured lead performance by Anne Hathaway who brings such an appealing mix of self-awareness and vulnerability to 40 year-old divorced mom and Los Angeles art gallery owner Solène that it feels revelatory.

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MAY DECEMBER – Review by Susan Granger

Do you remember back in 1997 when the tabloids were filled with juicy tidbits about Mary Kay Letourneau, a married schoolteacher who had an affair with a seventh-grade student? Pregnant, she was sentenced to prison and, when she was released, they married and had two more children. Those are the facts. Now filmmaker Todd Haynes has fabricated a story about what their lives might be like 20 years later – when a movie is going to be made about their relationship.

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: The Gotham Awards 2023 – Thelma Adams reports

The Gothams get out in front of the awards season as actors return to the red carpet, and stylists heave sighs of relief. On Monday night, November 27, while I was chugging Nyquil, the Gotham Awards unfolded at Cipriani’s Downtown in Manhattan. First awarded 32 years ago in 1991, the baby sister to the West Coast Film Independent Spirit Awards launched in 1984, the event’s original mission prioritized recognizing indies as opposed to Oscars. It’s since sacrificed some of its indie street cred with a slew of special awards to attract the big-name stars (Leo! Bobby! Penelope! Greta! Bradley! Margot!), exploiting the night’s current position as the first awards ceremony out of the gate.

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MAY DECEMBER – Review by T.J. Callahan

First time screenwriter, Samy Burch taps into a vibe of horror meets soap opera as she explores a May – December relationship that mimics that of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau’s illegal love affair and then lawful marriage from the late 1990’s. Directed by Todd Haynes, May December boasts a showcase of actors including Haynes staple, Julianne Moore as Gracie-Atherton Yoo, a convicted sex offender turned baker and controlling housewife. Natalie Portman doubles as the film’s producer and co-star playing Elizabeth, an actress who infiltrates the Yoo home to do research for a film about the family’s past, but ends up changing their future.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 17, 2023: MAY DECEMBER

May December, inspired by headline-grabbing true stories like that of Mary Kay Letourneau, introduces us to Gracie (Julianne Moore), a one-time teacher who’s been married for 20 years to Joe (Charles Melton), the former student she first slept with when he was 13. They’re living an uneasy but largely happy life in Georgia when well-known Hollywood actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) arrives to do some background research for the movie in which she’s been cast to play Gracie. By turns star struck and suspicious, Gracie, Joe, and the rest of their family members take Elizabeth into their lives.

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MAY DECEMBER – Review by Sherin Nicole

May December is a duel between two women with unclear motives and serious pathologies. Elizabeth is ravenous in her need for adoration, while Gracie is practiced at verbal programming. The level of manipulation is stunning and Samy Burch’s screenplay so well written you’re not sure if it’s there at all—a prime marker of the abuse infusing the story. May December could easily be classified as horror. I was horrified, you likely will be too.

The title of the film is a play on words, referencing the colloquialism “May-December romance.” The word romance is missing because it doesn’t exist here. What we walk away with is the understanding that past wrongs can be inherited as seamlessly as hereditary diseases. And sometimes “the truth” isn’t the medicine we hope for.

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MAY DECEMBER – Review by Loren King

With shades of Hitchcock and Bergman’s Persona, May December keeps viewers guessing and off kilter, in a good way. Subtle, strange and riveting, Todd Haynes and his two compelling leads present a stylish mix of tabloid sensation and a psychological portrait; it’s a heady mix of irresistible but uneasy entertainment.

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SPOTLIGHT November 2023: Samy Burch, Screenwriter, MAY DECEMBER

One of the most serendipitous pairings in the film world this year is screenwriter Samy Burch and director Todd Haynes. If you’re thinking “Samy who?,” you’re not alone — Burch is best-known as a casting director, and she appears to have come out of nowhere with the superb screenplay for May December, the new Todd Haynes movie starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. In fact, Burch is also a writer/director. The May December story was co-written by Burch and Alex Mechanik, a fellow filmmaker who happens to be her husband.

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