Why Is 'The Idea of You' Rated R? Every Mature Scene & Line In the Movie

By David Thompson Posted:
Anne Hathaway, The Idea of You

Is The Idea of You safe to watch for the whole family? Here's the reason why it's rated R.

Based on the romance novel by Robinne Lee of the same name, The Idea of You tells the story of a 40-year-old mother (Solène) falling in love with a 24-year-old boy band star (Hayes). The movie stars Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in the leading roles as they navigate a complicated new relationship.

Rumored to be inspired by Harry Styles and One Direction, the straight-to-streaming movie is now playing on Amazon Prime Video and has received an impressive 82% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

However, the official R-rating may have come as a surprise to not only potential audience members but also those actually watching the film.

Why Is The Idea of You Rated R?

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You
Prime Video

While sex scenes are what many expect to see given The Idea of You's R-rating (and they're not wrong), there are plenty of swear words sprinkled within the film.

The F-bomb is dropped several times, including an uncensored version of "F-boy." In addition, the British slang word "twat" is used, along with many words you could expect in an R-rated movie like s--t, d--k, whore, and bitch.

However, The Idea of You doesn't reach the heights of 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street (569 F-words), nor is it Anne Hathaway in a Fifty Shades of Grey rip-off.

The first kiss of the film between the two main characters isn't shared until 46 minutes and 51 seconds into the movie. While this is where the physical attraction between Hayes and Solène is acted upon, it's nothing that explicitly falls under an R-rating.

It isn't until Solène flies to Hayes' hotel in New York that things quickly heat up, becoming the film's steamiest scene, warranting an R-rating.

As this is the movie's only drawn-out sex scene, there's plenty of passionate kissing, clothing removal, sensual touching, and off-screen sexual acts.

However, there are no intimate parts shown, nor does either character get fully nude on screen. 

The rest of the movie alludes to sex and some short montage sequences infer that the couple is sleeping together, but nothing leans too heavily into the R-rating.

Is The Idea of You Family Friendly?

Given the vulgarity and brief sexual moments, The Idea of You is not family-friendly. However, it's not as raunchy as one may expect, as Common Sense Media has rated it for 15 years or older audiences.

The Idea of You is not trying to be a film like Fifty Shades of Grey, which has more than a few explicit sex scenes. During an interview with Etalk, Hathaway discussed how the film is first and foremost for women in their 40s, agreeing with a friend who called it her "Top Gun Maverick."

While there's certainly sexual tension in this film, it doesn't cross the line of showing characters nude, unlike 2023's hit rom-com No Hard Feelings. Now streaming on Netflix, Jennifer Lawrence stars and is seen running on the beach fully nude.

Another recent romantic film, Anyone But You (starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney), is inherently more inappropriate for younger audiences due to several moments of intimate body parts being shown on screen.

As The Idea of You was recently released on streaming, the expectations of more explicit sexual scenes should be tempered, but it does ultimately warrant the R-rating.

The Idea of You is now streaming on Prime Video.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.