‘The Idea Of You’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Do Sol And Hayes Have A Happy Ending?


Anne Hathway’s highly anticipated Harry Styles fanfiction-turned-movie The Idea of You has finally been released, and it’s steamier than you’d have imagined. The film is basically about society’s lens on older people and how women older than 30 are not meant to have any fun. It’s still occasionally cringy and has some dialogue that’ll leave you rolling your eyes, but that’s what makes it kind of perfect. Starring Anne Hathway and new Hollywood heartthrob Nicholas Galitzine, the film tells the story of Hayes Campbell (I don’t even know) and Solène Marchand and what one accidental attendance at a VIP meet and greet at Coachella could do for you (I kid). The film is cheesy, steamy, and everything you expect from an Anne Hathway-Nicholas Galitzine-starrer. Let’s quickly dive into what happens in the very fictional world of The Idea of You.

Spoiler Alert

How do Sol and Hayes meet? 

Sol is the 40-year-old single mother of 16-year-old Izzy and the owner of a beautiful art gallery in Silver Lake, LA (the perfect place to be for a chance celebrity encounter, no?). Izzy and her pals are heading to Coachella with her dad and Sol’s ex-husband, Daniel, while Sol gets to go camping alone. However, at the last moment, Sol has to drive them because Daniel has work coming up, and he takes his (much younger) wife along. At least it’s VIP tickets. Interestingly, while looking for a washroom, Sol ends up in the trailer of boy band August Moon’s lead singer Hayes, thinking it’s the washrooms. Ironically, Izzy used to be a fan of August Moon, and they’re here for their fan signing event, but Sol only recognizes him after he says his name and politely invites her to have a drink with him (that was quick, mate). At the meet and greet, Sol finally tells Hayes her name and introduces her daughter to him. One of Izzy’s friends tells Hayes that he should come by Sol’s beautiful art gallery in LA. He dedicates a song to her on stage, and usually, that would be the end of it. 

But Hayes shows up at the gallery, buys it out, and then tries to get to know Sol. They drive to Sol’s friend’s warehouse, and he looks at art while trying to get to know Sol better. They end up going back to her house because, if they’re in public, they’ll be greeted by fans. Apparently, he’s never had such a connection with anyone else before, and he tells Sol that they’re just two people getting to know each other. In a vulnerable moment, Sol tells him that her ex-husband cheated on her with a much younger woman, and even though she wanted to forgive him, he wanted to let go. One thing leads to another, and they kiss, but Sol backs away, knowing she’s too old for Hayes. The 24-year-old leaves his watch at her house and leaves. 

Many moons later, Sol gets a text from an unknown number, and it’s Hayes inviting her to New York to meet him. On a whim, she decides to do it—you know, to return the watch. After a few steamy nights in NY, Hayes invites her on a tour to Europe. He knows that Izzy’s in summer camp and won’t be home for two months, so it’s the perfect opportunity for Sol to go on vacation; plus, he bought out her gallery, so she doesn’t have any work at the moment either. They pretend she’s his art director, and she gets to go on their private jet all over Europe with members of the biggest boy band in the world. It seems the vacation is great for both of them, and Hayes even starts to write music. He’s most afraid of being taken as a joke in the world; that’s what happens to boy group members, no? 

Why does Sol leave? 

There’s a weekend off on the tour, and everyone decides to stay at a nice vacation home together. Sol feels awkward in front of all the young and “beautiful” girls, so she wears a massive dress to sit by the pool. One of the other members, Oliver, decides to take a dig at Sol’s age and insults her in front of everybody. It’s a humiliating experience that takes Sol back to a moment when her husband’s friends knew he was cheating on her, but she was the last one in the room to find out. Apparently, she’s not the first older woman Hayes has dated, and the charming dedication at the concert was simply a “bit” that they all do occasionally to impress a girl, or, as Oliver puts it, a woman in Hayes’ case. 

Sol immediately panics, breaks up with Hayes, and returns to LA. Before she leaves, Hayes tells her that she never really gave them a chance because no one knew about him, not even Izzy. Ironically, ten days later, compromising pictures of Hayes and Sol are everywhere on the internet, and Sol has to pick up Izzy from camp. Despite the situation, Izzy is supportive of her mom; she’s only mad that Sol lied because that’s what her dad did, too. Sol promises her daughter that it’ll never happen again and that she’s broken up with Hayes. Izzy encourages her to go back to him because she still likes him, and so she does. They start to go out in public, Hayes moves into their house, and there are paps everywhere. When Hayes goes away for a bit, Sol learns that Izzy’s getting bullied in school and asks to be at her dad’s for a bit. This is the last straw for Sol, and she decides to end things for good now. When he returns, Sol meets Hayes in her car at the airport. She tells him that she can’t do this anymore because of Izzy, and so he should leave. They hug it out, and he goes away. However, he shows up at her house. They say “I love you” to each other and spend a few last moments together. Hayes asks Sol to promise him that she’ll revisit their relationship five years from now because Izzy will be a college student, and Hayes might be a “D-Grade” artist by then (sure, that’s how boy groups work). 

The Idea of You‘s ending takes place some five years later, where Sol is still living the same life she did earlier. Izzy is in college, and Sol’s gallery is running just fine, but she spends her lonely nights alone watching late-night TV. One night, she happens upon a performance by Hayes on the “Graham Norton Show.” After his song (which is obviously about her), in the interview, he says that he plans on going to LA for a break soon because he has a special someone he’d like to meet. The movie ends with Hayes showing up at the gallery. The movie ends on a positive note, showing that Hayes really did care about Sol. It also shows the double standards of society when it comes to such a relationship. “People hate seeing women happy” is a line that’ll never leave me, and you may find this story cheesy and unnecessary, but it’s still got some truth to it! In conclusion, stop bullying women, even if they’re not Anne Hathway.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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