(director/writer: Michael Showalter; screenwriters: Jennifer Westfeldt, based on the book by Robinne Lee; cinematographer: Jim Frohna; editor: Peter Teschner; music: Siddhartha Khosla; cast: Anne Hathaway (Solene Marchand), Nicholas Galitzine (Hayes), Ella Rubin (Izzy), Annie Mumolo (Tracy), Reid Scott (Daniel), Perry Mattfeld (Eva), Jordan Aaron Hall (Zeke), Mathilda Gianopoulos (Georgia), Raymond Cham Jr. (Oliver), Jaiden Anthony (Adrian), Viktor White (Simon), Dakota Adan (Rory); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Cathy Schulman, Gabrielle Union, Anne Hathaway, Robinne Lee, Eric Hayes, Michael Showalter, Jordana Mollick; A Prime Video release; 2024)

“Without Hathaway’s star power would have been just another routine rom-com.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”/”Hello, My Name is Doris”) is director-writer of this rom-com.  It’s a perky story of a whirlwind romance between a 40-year-old divorced single mom, Solene (Anne Hathaway), who is an LA-based art gallery owner, and the touchy but sweet heartthrob, the 24-year-old Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of the August Moon, the most popular rock group in the world.
It’s co-written by Jennifer Westfeldt and is based on the book by Robinne Lee. It plays out as a story about fame, the music industry, the tabloids and, most of all, a May-December unconventional romance about dealing with an irreconcilable large age gap.

Solene has a teenage daughter, Izzy (Ella Rubin), with her cheating ex-husband, Daniel (Reid Scott). When Daniel has a sudden work emergency and can’t take Izzy and her friends to the Coachella Music Festival, Solène drops her solo camping weekend and takes the teens to the concert. That’s where she meets lover-boy backstage, who becomes smitten with her and wins her over though she tries to resist his corny overtures.

When Izzy is off to summer camp, Solene accompanies Hayes on the European leg of his band’s world tour.

But the big age gap, the clash in values and being in the group’s publicity headlights are too much for the unlikely romance to continue before it can get serious.

The film is good at getting Solene’s emotional responses when vilified in social media for stealing from the crib.

Hathaway shines in her performance. But the dewy-eyed love story without Hathaway’s star power would have been just another routine rom-com.

The film’s original music for August Moon, as written by Savan Kotecha, showed some creativity. The handful of tunes created for the film, such as “I Got You,” “Guard Down,” and “Dance Before We Walk,” add something positive.

It played at the SXSW.

REVIEWED ON 3/31/2024  GRADE: C+