When we heard the plot of a new movie starring Anne Hathaway, The Idea of You, we were left scratching our heads. No, not because the movie sounded far-fetched—on the contrary, it sounded familiar.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Robinne Lee (who, along with Hathaway, is also a producer on the movie), The Idea of You will reportedly tell the story of Sophie, a 40-year-old mom and recent divorceé who unexpectedly falls for a twentysomething British pop star, Hayes Campbell, who leads the popular boy band, August Moon. Playing opposite The Princess Diaries star is 28-year-old British actor Nicholas Galitzine, recently seen in Cinderella and Purple Hearts.
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Now, if you're getting Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde vibes from the storyline, you wouldn't be the only one. In fact, the romance novel was actually born as pseudo-Harry Styles fanfiction.
"A few years ago, my husband was away on business and I was up late surfing music videos on YouTube when I came across the face of a boy I’d never seen in a band I’d never paid attention to, and it was so aesthetically perfect it took me by surprise. It was like…art," Lee told blogger Deborah Kalb in a 2017 Q&A. "I spent a good hour or so Googling and trying to figure out who this kid was and in doing so I discovered that he often dated older women, and so the seed was planted."
However, the author now maintains "this was never supposed to be a book about Harry Styles,” telling Vogue (opens in new tab): “It was supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself, just at the point that society traditionally writes women off as desirable and viable and whole.” Looks like any resemblance to the much-publicized relationship between 28-year-old Styles and his 38-year-old Don't Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde is purely coincidental.
Funnily enough, it's not the first feature film inspired by Wattpad fantasies: the Fifty Shades franchise started as Twilight fanfiction and 2019's After began as a piece of One Direction fanfiction, with its male lead Harding Scott also said to be inspired by the one, the only Harry Styles.
Production on The Idea of You, which will stream on Amazon Prime Video, has officially kicked off this October. Stay tuned!
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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