The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

The Idea of You: Read the book that inspired the Anne Hathaway movie

The romcom tells the story of a 40-year-old woman who begins a love affair with the lead singer of a pop band

Daisy Lester
Thursday 02 May 2024 13:08 BST
The movie is based on Robinne Lee’s 2017 book of the same name
The movie is based on Robinne Lee’s 2017 book of the same name (The Independent)

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine are blessing our screens with the release of The Idea of You – a much-anticipated movie based on Robinne Lee’s 2017 book of the same name.

Available to stream on Prime Video now, the film has caused a frenzy among boy band enthusiasts and romcom-lovers alike, as it follows the unexpected romance between 40-year-old old divorcee Soléne and Hayes, a pop star in his 20s.

If you think the story sounds suspiciously similar to the romantic life of real boy band member Harry Styles (who shared a romance with Olivia Wilde, who is 10 years his senior) you’re not alone, as legions of fans have speculated whether or not The Idea of You could be inspired by the singer.

The book’s author has since confirmed the pop star character was indeed inspired by a number of different men, including the “Watermelon Sugar” singer, as well as Prince Harry and Lee’s ex-boyfriends.

Intrigued? Us too. Here’s everything you need to know about The Idea of You, from where you can buy the book the romcom is based on to the full film cast.

‘The Idea of You’ by Robinne Lee, published by Penguin: Was £9.99, now £9.18


Robinne Lee’s The Idea of You tells the story of 40-year-old divorcee Solène and 24-year-old Hayes, lead singer of the world-famous boyband August Bloom. When Solène’s ex-husband encourages her to take their daughter to Coachella, she has a chance encounter with Hayes that evolves into a heated love affair. Exploring an age-gap relationship, older female empowerment, stardom and the media, the book was a sleeper hit during the pandemic – among romance novel fans and Harry Styles devotees alike.

Buy now

When is ‘The Idea of You’ streaming?

The Idea of You released on Thursday 2 May at 8AM in the UK. The film will only be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, as it is a Prime Video exclusive movie. This means you will need to have a Prime Video subscription to watch it.

The Idea of You - trailer

Who is in the cast alongside Anne Hathaway?

Red, White & Royal Blue and Bottoms’ actor Nicholas Galitzine stars alongside Anne Hathaway, as the romantic lead. The cast also includes Ella Rubin as Solène’s daughter, Reid Scott, Viktor White and Perry Mattfeld.

Is ‘The Idea of You’ based on a true story?

No, The Idea of You isn’t based on a true story. Adapted from Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel of the same name, both the movie and book are a work of fiction.

Was Harry Styles the inspiration for Robinne Lee’s book?

When asked by Vogue, in 2020, if Harry Styles inspired the book, Lee replied: “Inspired is a strong word,” but she conceded “the seed was planted” after she came across a video of One Direction and discovered that “he often dated older women”.

Admitting she might have a thing for British men named Harry, Lee also divulged that Prince Harry was part of her inspiration for Hayes: “I made him into my dream guy... like Prince Harry meets Harry.”

Voucher codes

For the latest offers on audiobooks, try the link below:

Want more inspiration? Check out our round-up of must-read novels

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in