The Hoya: The Guide: April 26, 2024

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FILM "Challengers" is tennis for people who don't like sports, says Clayton Kincade (SFS ’25). B2

MUSIC "Abigail" and its kid vampire are here to entertain, according to Ethan Hill (SCS ’25). B4

FILM Caroline Blakeman (CAS ’27) laughs through her tears at Georgetown Improv 's Senior Sendoff. B7

April 26, 2024

Step in to 'The Tortured Poets Department'

Taylor Swift closes the book on an era of heartbreak in her pensive eleventh studio album. B3

Hoya Staff Writer

‘Challengers’ Plays the Best Match of Tennis

“I don’t watch tennis,” Luca Guadagino, director of “Challengers,” told Little White Lies. “It’s boring to me.”

A little white lie indeed: “Challengers” is one of the smartest, sharpest and sexiest films of the decade, making tennis — even to the most averse of viewers — sizzle with the salacious heat of sweaty, salivary scandal.

Following a non-linear storyline with a structure like “Oppenheimer,” “Challengers” follows Tashi (Zendaya), Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor), three tennis players fatefully intertwined, professionally and romantically, throughout their lives.

The film opens at the narrative end, with Art and Patrick competing against one another as middle-aged men in the finals of a Challengers match — the second-highest tier of tennis competition — with Tashi, now coach to Art after a knee injury, watching uncomfortably from the stands. It’s very, very clear that something is awfully wrong.

“Challengers” slowly reveals its cards like a Russian nesting doll, seamlessly switching backward and forward in time from college days to

the current match and the days and weeks before to reach a jaw-dropping climax. From the start, you know that Art and Tashi end up married and filthy rich. They’ve excommunicated Patrick from their lives, and he is forced to live paycheck to paycheck, sleeping in his car. And with the flair of a Shakespearean tragedy, Art and Patrick used to be one of the best doubles teams — best friends and model masc bros — in the nation.

The film teases out the mysterious why in slow doses, racketing the tension to an all-time high.

The film works with this odd framing because the genius plot structure by writer Justin Kuritzkes — married to Celine Song of “Past Lives,” making them the powerhouse couple of the decade for writing messed-up relationships — never affords one player in the main trio the chance to hold the ball for too long. Kuritzkes denies the viewer the pleasure of picking a clear romantic or moral winner in the love triangle, slowly doling out information that relentlessly deconstructs the observer’s view of who has the upper hand.

The editing is its own player, reflecting the backand-forth head turns of watching a game from the stands. The film makes insistent use of jump cuts in lieu of long takes, making the sparse moments of

focus shine with metaphorical brilliance. Director Luca Guadagnino pushes himself to new heights here, post “Bones and All” and “Call Me By Your Name,” playing with the camera in ways new to his craft. There are point-of-view shots from the players, cars, the tennis court and the tennis ball itself; the picture is often in slow motion or moving at a reduced frame rate for theatrics; the plentiful mix of wide angle and close up body shots, with sweat sometimes literally drenching the camera lens, effortlessly enhances the enthralling blocking.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score steals the show with an electrifying mix of dry drums and harsh, wobbly synths that sound like an EDM disco club where the liquor endlessly pours. The tracks, loud and brass and backed with soft whispers and auto-tuned vocals, amplify the dialogue to make even the most intimate conversations cinematic spectacles — and make the big moments barrels of dynamite.

In fact, pause before the match point. Let’s not beat around the bush: This is a love triangle where all corners touch.

“Challengers” is a visual narcotic for bisexuals, with clips that are bound to make the internet wild savages for a business month at minimum.


Mike Faist, Zendaya and Josh O’Connor star as members of a love triangle in steamy tennis thriller “Challengers.”

Yes, the men kiss — a three way tongue takedown with Tashi, and solo too — and the homoerotic tension of sideways smirks and sauna showdowns is enough to kill anyone unconvinced that at its core, male sport always toes a rich theoretical line between brotherhood and lust. Even the food choices, like Patrick’s fiend for eating Art’s churros out of his hand close enough that he can smell the cinnamon and get the powder doused in his hair, leave little room for speculation.

The film, however, never explicitly depicts acts beyond kissing and foreplay, turning the tennis court into a voyeuristic and thrilling bedroom to settle debts. In Art and Patrick’s desire to win over Tashi’s love and admiration, they become bound by mutual obsession, their fights communicated in exasperated and high-pitched grunts and secret racket movements as they volley the ball over the net.

“Challengers” tonally knows its limits — come on, now, this is a bizarre movie — taking ample opportunities to poke fun at itself. The script is relentlessly funny, and every moment of absurdity quite simply too good to spoil here.

Zendaya, in particular, rips through this movie’s script like a starved lion looking for raw meat. “I’m taking such good care of my little white boys,” Tashi spits in a particularly wild and unbelievable third-act moment, a line delivery that was already an all-timer pre-release but a hundred times better in context.

O’Connor and Faist, closely in tow, are electric. Faist’s marvelous past stints in “Dear Evan Hansen” and “West Side Story” are no match for this career best, and O’Connor transforms into a force of nature that threatens to jump out of the screen. These boys might just break teenage hearts not seen since Timothée Chalamet’s breakout in his own Guadagnino joint. If this trio does not sweep award nominations this fall, something has gone horribly wrong.

The last 15 minutes of “Challengers” are perhaps one of the most memorable ending sequences to a film in years, pure lightning that will leave you dazzled with an adrenaline overload. Even though the film foreshadows and closely choreographs each move, watching it all crash and burn is a cathartic pleasure. One shocking decision Tashi makes in the final stretch will undoubtedly polarize audiences — but that controversial move creates the ideal space for a powder keg explosion of a final scene where the drama wraps together in a perfect bow.

“You don’t know what tennis is. It’s a relationship,” Tashi tells the boys early on at a party. “It’s like we were in love. Or like we didn’t exist. We went somewhere really beautiful together,” Tashi says of a match partner earlier in the day. What a dull game it must be to not know your opponent as your own.


‘The Tortured Poets Department:’ A Capstone Mosaic of Taylor Swift, Feeding Fan Addiction

“Because it’s the worst men that I write best.” Exactly.

With 31 songs — 15 of which were dropped in surprise fashion two hours after the album’s original release — Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” (TTPD) takes the crown for her longest and most vulnerable album yet. A synthetic pop rendition of rhetorical poetry, TTPD is filled with fan-favorite easter eggs and, of course, the experiences of heartbreak.

Amid Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, her globetrotting concert series that caused a Ticketmaster frenzy and has generated more than $1 billion in sales, it feels natural to understand this album as a mosaic of Swift’s past selves. TTPD’s delicate poetry ties an invisible string to the wordsmithing of sister albums “folklore” and “evermore,” catchy choruses feel ever-reminiscent of “1989” and the storytelling feels aligned with Swift’s earlier “Fearless” and “Speak Now” albums.

Working with longtime producers Aaron Dess-

ner and Jack Antonoff, TTPD uses techno-pop sounds reminiscent of “Midnights,” which won Swift her fourth Album of the Year Grammy award last year. TTPD combines Swift’s pensive language with upbeat pop melodies and piercing references to create an album that is both dazzling and authentically Taylor Swift.

“But Daddy I Love Him,” one of the strongest songs on the album, provides an excellent example of this new era’s overlap. The opening melody sounds remarkably similar to “If This Was A Movie,” and the narrative feels like a grown-up version of “Love Story.” But, rather than the trial and heartbreak of Romeo and Juliet, Swift is screaming to her dad (or, rhetorically, her fans) that she loves a controversial man. It’s widely assumed this song is about Matty Healy of The 1975, with whom Swift had a brief romance last summer. But, of course, she’d never confirm that.

Exactly as Swift herself indicated, her best songs come from her biggest heartbreaks. And boys only want love if it’s torture, right?

Much of the album (theoretically) references Joe Alwyn, Swift’s ex-boyfriend of six years. In “So Long, London,” Swift bids him a devastating goodbye. The

song is guided by an intense heartbeat-like consistency that originally sounds like wedding bells (Coincidence? I think not!) and rhythmically tied together with a classic Swift bridge. “loml,” which winds around the expected “Love of my life” acronym to “Loss of my life,” is also likely about Alwyn and rests with a drifting, peaceful piano melody nearly identical to Swift’s “White Horse.”

Other album standouts include “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” which draws lyrical parallels to “You’re on Your Own, Kid” and “Clara Bow,” which references the misfortunes of fame previously highlighted in Swift’s “The Lucky One.”

On The Anthology, the album’s 2 a.m. drop of 15 additional songs, a highlight is “I Look in People’s Windows,” a country-folk tune reminiscent of “betty” or “willow” that makes me want to spin around in a meadow while wearing a white flowy dress and dance in the early morning sun. “Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus” feels adjacent to the low guitar strings of Swift’s “evermore” album and is lit up by a powerful and emotionally delivered bridge.

Contrasting Swift’s later discographical references, “So High School,” a “Fearless” album-like song full of pop culture references and the highs


With 31 tracks over two nocturnal releases, Taylor Swift’s long-awaited 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” says goodbye to relationships past.

of new love, demonstrates the heart and ever-lingering presence of a 16-year-old girl with a love for songwriting within Swift. It’s refreshing but reminiscent — a phenomenon that represents Swift’s career all too well.

TTPD is an undeniably authentic and diary-like insight into Swift’s life. However, there is the caveat that 31 songs is an incredibly lengthy album — one that can feel overwhelming to appreciate in its entirety. Still, I only consider this flaw to deduct a halfstar rating, as it represents the true freedom Swift now has after leaving Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records to publish all the music she desires.

Ultimately, when listened to carefully for lyrics and hidden messages, each of the 31 songs pierces the heart a tad differently and points the knife at the enemy (whether that be Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy or Kim Kardashian) from a different angle.

In the album’s Instagram announcement post, Swift wrote that TTPD recounts an era of her life that is now over — “closed and boarded up.”

“Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it. And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry,” Swift wrote.

The album achieves just that. It is a vault of heartbreak, betrayal, fear, worry, anxiety, optimism and all the other complicated feelings that rest in Swift’s mind. TTPD puts a bow on the past few years of Swift’s life — years that appear to be her most successful but were perhaps the most heartbreaking on the inside — and elegantly ties together her last 10 eras.

More importantly, TTPD tells the story not of a billionaire pop sensation, but of a woman in her mid-30s looking back on her lovestruck, heavily scrutinized youth with newfound understanding and vulnerability. That drug of universal understanding is what makes Swift’s album — and her overall songwriting capabilities — so captivating, successful and impactful.

“Put narcotics into all of my songs / And that’s why you’re still singing along.” Precisely.

FILM FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2024 | THEHOYA.COM | B3 


Suspenseful, Fun, Witty Vampire Comedy

‘Abigail’ Is Entertaining from Start to Finish

When I entered the movie theater to watch “Abigail,” I was expecting a mediocre horror movie that, while fun, I would forget as soon as I left the theater.

Oh, how wrong I was.

“Abigail” follows a team of assassins hired for the biggest mission of their lives: to kidnap and protect a little girl named Abigail (Alisha Weir). However, as the night progresses and Abigail reveals her true colors, the group realizes they are the ones that need protecting.

“Abigail” at its core is a mashup between a vampire film and a comedy. There are many times I found myself laughing hysterically during the film’s runtime. Just as much as I laughed, though, I was nervous for our heroes, hoping that they would survive to the end of the movie. It’s a film that tackles themes sur-

rounding family, redemption, failure and generational trauma. It explores all these themes excellently while still managing to be lighthearted in one moment and heavy in the next.

The world building in this film is equally fantastic. The world’s rules are simple and the presentation of information is extremely deliberate. Sometimes the film intentionally withholds crucial pieces of information to build a sense of anxiety, only to deliver the answer to the audience’s questions masterfully once the film has slowed down. It’s easy for horror comedy films to get carried away with their antics and not execute the film’s concept properly, leading to a plot hole-ridden mess. However, this film defies the odds, taking deliberate care to keep its continuity intact.

On top of all that, the plot of the film is extremely captivating. There were many twists and turns that kept me on my toes. At times

the plot twists were so well executed it was reminiscent of the first “Scream” movie. I was never bored while watching the movie, and the runtime fits the film like a glove. I never felt like a scene should have been cut and the conclusion does not disappoint.

The character development is wonderful as well. The assassin team is composed of a spoiled rich girl (Kathryn Newton), an ex-Marine (Will Catlett), a former dirty cop (Dan Stevens), a recovering drug addict (Melissa Barrera), a current drug addict (Angus Cloud) and a thickheaded bodybuilder (Kevin Durand). This wide variety of characters allows for a more nuanced and detailed exploration of the film’s themes while giving everyone in the audience someone to root for. We can fully empathize with why each character is taking such a big risk because we are aware of each of the character’s strengths and weaknesses.


“Abigail” amuses moviegoers while providing mesmerising scenery as a backdrop to its horror comedy.

It was genuinely heartwarming to see some of the bonds being formed between such drastically different characters, my favorite being the adorable bond between Peter, the dumb bodybuilder, and Sammy, the spoiled rich girl.

On a technical and dramatic level, this film holds up well. The entire cast gave compelling shows, and Weir in particular turned in a wonderfully multifaceted performance. Visually, the film meets the required standard for a box office release but doesn’t seem to go beyond that. While the costume design and CGI are nothing to scream about, the set design is wonderful, ranging from beautiful scenery to dystopian landscapes when the film demands it. While it’s clear this movie was made on a smaller budget, the filmmakers were able to overcome this issue for the duration of the runtime.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Friday night with some friends, “Abigail” is the perfect movie for you. In order to have the best experience with this film, refrain from watching any of the promotional materials before entering the theater. While by no means will this ruin the movie for you, I certainly wish I hadn’t known the first major twist revealed by the marketing. This movie is no “Citizen Kane,” but its intentionality and dynamic plot do not disappoint. This is the perfect movie night watch for horror fans and those simply looking for a good time.


‘The Greatest Hits’ Reminds Us How to Love Unashamed

This article contains spoilers for “The Greatest Hits” (2024).

In a world overwhelmed by casual dating culture and situationships, movies like “The Greatest Hits” prove to be all the more important and impactful. Using musical nostalgia as its medium, the romantic fantasy film begs us to confront our heartbreak and hope to heal, even if the message sometimes suffers from its simplicity.

The story revolves around Harriet Gibbons (Lucy Boynton), a young woman who lost who she believed to be the love of her life in a tragic car crash. From that moment, any time she listens to songs that remind her of him, she’s instantly transported to the moment they first listened to the song

together. Harriet is stuck trying to figure out how to save her lost love when she meets David Park (Justin H. Min), who suddenly begins to steal her heart.

Though the film centers on a heterosexual romance, it is full of queer imagery and features, such as the fact that the filmmakers celebrate drag, feature queer artists like Phoebe Bridgers and dress their cast in colorful, gender-neutral outfits.

Writer and director Ned Benson created a world reflective of his own. Iconic LGBTQ+ influences like New York City discotheque Paradise Garage and African American artist DJ Harvey inspired dance, pop music and Benson himself when making this film. His film thus pays homage to this reality which is often overlooked.

Harriet’s best friend, Morris Martin (Austin Crute), breaks the unfortunate trend of



This year, the Creative Suitland Arts Center will be transitioning from their traditional gala to an arts festival dedicated to fostering community creativity. Featuring live performances, local vendors, art workshops and a variety of food trucks, this event truly has something for everyone. Stop by the Center in Prince George’s County this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. to enjoy this completely free event!

LGBTQ+ characters only being portrayed as the “gay best friend,” stepping outside the stereotype to show his own unique perspective.

Classic films like “The Notebook” shape our cinematic understanding of romance, and while classic, they have fallen out of touch with the culture surrounding modern love. “The Greatest Hits” redefines love stories with the simple strategy of observing our ever-changing society — met with a combination of retro and customary tones that make you feel intrigued yet comfortable.

Harriet and the viewers confront our past and our human capacity to move on, which is as beautiful as it is tragic. The strengths of this film revolve around the accessibility of its subject matter and execution. As a younger viewer, the issues the movie tackled resonated strongly with me.

The shining moment of the film is when


Join artisans, chocolatiers and lovers of all things cacao this Saturday, April 27, for the seventh annual D.C. Chocolate Festival. From 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., La Maison Française, a venue inside the Embassy of France, will be hosting a variety of chocolate-related events such as workshops and tasting sessions. And it’s not just your classic chocolate bar — the festival will feature chocolate confections and beverages as well! Tickets are available for $25 online for either of two sessions.

David takes Harriet to a silent “headphones” concert — a perfect example of how people can take their partner’s access needs into consideration and adjust in a way that allows both parties to have fun.

The main flaw of this film is a doubleedged sword. Unfortunately, the film is quite simple and doesn’t take risks. You can see the unsurprising arc of the plot from the very beginning, dulling the experience and rendering the movie entirely forgettable to some. The success of this film hinges entirely on the viewer relating to the specific character’s situation.

I do confess the simplicity also makes the plot more approachable, as the movie is comforting and easy to follow. Unlike some movies that aim to reinvent the wheel, audiences watching “The Greatest Hits” can relax and take it for what it’s worth.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Rest and Relaxation


Need a break from finals preparation? This Sunday, April 28, Wellspring Manor & Spa will be hosting a SelfCare Sunday holistic experience, with events ranging from movement stations to smoothie bars to shopping at a variety of health and wellness vendors. In other words, it’s the perfect way to start off your week. Tickets are currently $35, which includes admission to a variety of events at the venue.


Didn’t get enough of the Spy Museum during the Diplomatic Ball? Come back this Sunday, April 28, for a morning rooftop yoga session on the eighth floor of the Museum. The yoga will be coupled with a sound bath and a long savasana, a meditative rest, to conclude the session. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and although there is currently a waitlist, there’s always a chance a spot will open up.


Indie-Rock Band Flipturn Wows Audiences With Dynamism, Emotion, Electric Chemistry

Ever bought a concert ticket without knowing a band? I’d consider it if a friend with similar music taste recommended it. Maybe it’s just me, but when I go to a concert for one of my favorite bands, I always feel as though my expectations were just barely met. Going into concerts with low expectations has always helped me become more present –– the night of April 19 was no different.

Flipturn, made up of Dillon Basse (lead vocals and guitar), Tristan Duncan (lead guitar), Madeline Jarman (bass), Mitch Fountain (synthesizer and guitar) and Devon VonBalson (drums), first originated as a garage band in Florida when they were high school seniors. They’ve managed to achieve a dream for many young musicians. You can tell Basse, Duncan and Jarman have known each other for eons. They reveled in each other’s and the audience’s presence.

Although they were seeing a smaller band, many Flipturn fanatics turned out and turned up. The electric energy of the crowd fueled the slightly tired band, who could not be more appreciative of the enthusiasm after the 10 p.m. door time.

Flipturn performed a dynamic set that ranged from themes of mental health to road trips to the eternal concept of love. Regarding mental health, a topic which is hard to truly encompass in a song without feeling forced, Flipturn wrote “Goddamn my poisoned mind / Goddamn the internet” in their accurately titled song, “Goddamn.” The music reverberated through the young crowd, whose frustrations at the online world were finally being heard. The admission of their struggle was something the under-25 crowd could greatly admire and empathize with.

Songs about the Windy City seem to never disappoint. While Flipturn’s “Chicago” has sadly been overshadowed by the TikTok sensation of the same name by Djo (Joe

Keery) which first comes to mind, the young band’s version stands on its own. The song, although seemingly a call out to cross-country locations, captures the essence of the free-spirited nature of the open road. The crowd, almost all young enough to have a summer break, reveled in the joyous lyrics with a heightened anticipation of carefree summer days. Youthful aimlessness is immortalized in the song through the hopeful line, “Who knows where I’ll be tomorrow.”

Like many artists, Flipturn has a few songs up their sleeve about the ever-compelling emotion of love. “August” is one of those songs. It describes the heart-wrenching phenomenon of a couple simply growing apart. In “August,” the narrator feels like they have simply remained the same while their partner has outgrown their relationship. Basse sings, “We don’t talk about it / We don’t have the time… But now you’re a stranger / And I’m still July.” Again the themes of summer seem to permeate the

AMBER CHERRY/THE HOYA Dillon Basse jammed out at the 9:30 Club under a disco ball.

lyrics. By using the months as metaphors, Flipturn is able to convey the inevitable tear that time may cause between two lovers. The circumstance is agonizing and “August” does not fail to express that in the evocative line, “But don’t you remember / August, honey, you were mine.”

The performance itself also did not disappoint. Throughout the set, the band was in a sparring match with the audience over who could headbang the most. In the midst of a tornado of hair, the band jumped and danced around the stage, never staying stagnant for too long. At one point VonBalson even took a drum into the crowd to play a solo. Ever the innovative percussionist, VonBalson finished the solo by putting the drum over his head once he returned to the drum set and continued playing blind. Basse also came into the crowd at one point, not to be outdone by his bandmate.

Not only did the songs register better live, but the band did not shy away from putting on a show for the eager crowd. The partnership between the audience and the band seemed to enhance the set without one party overly relying on the other. The band, clearly experienced in showmanship, knew exactly what to do to engage the fans. At one point, the disco ball lit up and a hush fell over the crowd as the band played a mesmerizing melody, and all you could do was lose yourself in the music.

MUSIC 


Billy Sewell (SFS ’24), Dane Tedder (CAS ’24) and Jack Stiefel (CAS ’24) conclude their improv careers at Georgetown April 20.

Yes, and…Goodbye: In Bittersweet Finale, GU Improv Sends Off Their Seniors With Impressive, Witty Show

The Georgetown University Improv Association (GU Improv) held their final performance of the year April 20. The show was a culmination of the group’s year-long work and a bittersweet finale for the graduating seniors.

The show featured nine players, including Dane Tedder (CAS ’24), Jack Stiefel (CAS ’24), Billy Sewell (SFS ’24), Sarah Miller (CAS ’25), Laird Fitzgerald (CAS ’25), Anna Dewey (CAS ’26), Sophie Maretz (CAS ’26), Owen Simon (CAS ’26) and Annie Katz (SFS ’26). Throughout the hourlong performance, the troupe seamlessly transitioned between three long-form games.

Tedder began the show by welcoming an audience member onstage to participate in a mock interview. Sitting opposite Tedder and the other two senior members, the brave volunteer answered personal questions about herself, including questions about her love life, nicknames and recent dreams. While the interviewers carefully pushed for more information, the other players stood in the background, listening and noting

important details to be used later in the show.

As the interview concluded, the troupe immediately began their first scene, which was set in the exact context of the interviewee’s most recent dream. The players successfully weaved the interviewee’s unique answers into a string of cohesive and hilarious scenarios.

Tedder then reincorporated the audience by asking for words that would shape the following scenes. While dozens of words were being thrown at him, Tedder ultimately selected “bathtub” and “cactus” as the directing words. The players showed off their quick thinking and personal comedic styles by spontaneously crafting and acting out scenes that involved the chosen word.

When the word “cactus” seemed to be completely played out, Tedder jumped in and concluded the show, denoting special attention to the graduating seniors, including himself, Stiefel and Sewell. The crowd roared as the three completed their final bows.

Reflecting on his experience with GU Improv, Tedder said he feels grateful to have been able to practice and perform with the other players.

“It’s made me feel lucky beyond words to

spend three years with a tight-knit group that constantly shifts and changes as people leave and join year after year and yet I always know that at least twice a week, I’ll get to spend time with people who I know will make me laugh... a lot,” Tedder wrote to The Hoya

The players exhibited a sense of communal trust during the show. Improv is an incredibly daunting and intricate craft; performing off the cuff requires both personal confidence and faith in the other performers to cooperate. Yet GU Improv made it look easy. The players consistently picked up and built on each others’ ideas, creating a continuous stream of unique characters, scenarios and jokes. No matter how silly or specific an idea was, the players could seemingly read each other’s minds.

Dewey said the team will miss the three graduating seniors for their unique talents.

“We’ll definitely miss Dane’s insane ability to do voices and sound effects,” Dewey told TheHoya. “We’ll definitely miss how tall Billy was and we’ll miss Jack walking into every scene and going ‘babe?’”

Overall, the show was a fantastic success.

Despite being tucked away in the Leavey Center, Bulldog Alley was completely packed. Overflowing with laughter and genuine interest in every joke, the audience was receptive and excited to watch the performers take risks, make jokes and work together to create original scenes.

Maretz said she is pleased with the show and appreciative of her supportive teammates and audience members.

“The energy was fantastic, especially because it was our seniors’ last show,” Maretz wrote to The Hoya. “All my nerves were gone because I knew everyone on the team was there to support me no matter what. That support is what allowed for some super fun scenes and just a great experience overall.”

Tedder said he has fallen in love with improv. His passion emanates through his performance and is evident in how he speaks of his craft.

“I think everyone should give improv a try at some point if they ever feel like things are resting on their shoulders alone, because doing improv is one of the quickest ways to learn that there’s always someone who’s got your back,” Tedder wrote.

COMEDY 

Lighthearted Romance ‘The Idea of You’ Credits the Discredited

“The Idea of You” is a fascinatingly fun time, as both a film and an experience. It plays with the genre, tone and seriousness of its subject matter in a way that delightfully defies expectations. All the while, the film maintains its core of lighthearted, romantic, cheesy fun.

The movie centers around a whirlwind romance between Solène (Anne Hathaway), a 40-year-old single mom and art gallery owner, who goes to Coachella with her daughter. There, she meets — and immediately hits it off with — Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), the 23-year-old lead singer of the famous boy band August Moon. This initial spark leads to a summer of excitement, passion and scandal for Solène and Campbell as they attempt to balance their unique love with the price of fame.

The synopsis is, admittedly, a bit ridiculous. The plot seems silly, stupid even, like a Hallmark movie or something that comes on the TV way too late at night. The pairing of a young, hot popstar and a much older mom sounds like it came directly from someone’s 2000s-era fanfiction. So, with this basic premise in mind, I braced myself for what I was about to witness. As the theater lights dimmed, I

couldn’t help but have one question: “Why is Anne Hathaway here?”

Yes, Anne Hathaway. That Anne Hathaway. The Oscar-winning actress who has spent several years making careful and successful artistic choices attempting to revitalize her career after public opinion turned against her in the mid-2010s. That same woman plays the main character in this –what would have been straight-to-DVD if released in the appropriate era – movie. I had faith she’d be good in the role, as she is an objectively strong actress, but I had no idea how the rest of the movie around her would be handled. Would she even have good material to work with?

When the movie ended, I had an answer to these concerns. Hathaway chose to be in “The Idea of You” because it is a truly good film. I am truly glad she did because her involvement will hopefully draw critical audience attention to a film that ought to be enjoyed by the world.

The script – which was my biggest worry going into this – is good, excellent even. Despite some initially stilted expository dialogue and several romantic cliches throughout the movie (which, in a way, further add to its charm), the script sounds entirely natural. Each line bursts with chemistry for the two leads to work with. Specifically, toward the second half, the dia-


logue really seems to find a rhythm.

Hathaway and Galitzine give excellent performances. While Hathaway, with her signature charm, does run circles around the rest of the cast, her co-star, Galitzine, truly manages to keep up. His delivery is sharp and his timing is commendable. The pair only seem to elevate each other; their chemistry is utterly palpable.

As for the plot, well, it resembles Wattpad fanfiction. August Moon is certainly based on One Direction, and the main character’s meetcute is completely improbable. At one point, Hathaway’s character literally pulls out a book at a celebrity meet-and-greet, an action meant to establish she’s “not like other girls.” Yet the movie strikes such a perfect balance of sincerity and fun that the campy tone works in tandem with the film’s emotional final act.

The film’s very nature and messages in its plot have left me thinking even days after watching. One of the major issues within the film is that Campbell, a talented artist, is not taken seriously by the public because of his “boy band” status. The movie asks us to look inward and consider Campbell’s plight: Why shouldn’t boy bands be taken seriously? Groups like One Direction are huge cultural staples and have arguably left a legacy on modern music.

And to take this point further, why is fan-

fiction ridiculed? It is simply an outlet for writing, creative expression and community. These are genuine stories that should be told, as seen in this very movie. Why are older women in relationships with younger men so villainized, while men are often encouraged to pursue younger women? Why are rom-coms not considered “serious” movies when some of the most iconic films are part of the genre? A common uniting factor is that these are all broadly seen as female interests or issues that are often discredited, diminished and looked down upon by society. “The Idea of You” takes this issue and examines it from a unique angle in a truly profound way I did not expect.

“The Idea of You” is not a perfect film. It’s not groundbreaking or life-changing and this keeps it from five stars. Yet, it’s not meant to be. The film is perfectly content being in the company of fellow “chick flicks.” “The Idea of You” not only takes rom-coms, boybands and fanfiction in earnest, it extends that unfeigned commitment to, above all else, women. From young fangirls admiring their favorite artists to older women desiring love, the film takes them seriously. For that, I am left with nothing but a genuine appreciation for “The Idea of You.”

This Week’s Theme: A Vengeance Against Ticketmaster


1. A nightmare to be in on Ticketmaster

6. Unexcused absence, abbr.

7. Insubstantial recipe quantity, maybe

9. A worse nightmare to be in on Ticketmaster, especially when it won’t load

10. Master’s in Geographic Information Science


1. After the “All Things Go” ticket showdown, I have a ____ with Ticketmaster.

2. Buttons you might look for frantically

3. __ SCOTUS Justice ___

4. Shorthand for you

5. Fandom slang for exported characters

8. ___ -Wan Kenobi

Last issue’s solutions


1. Optometric scan meets TSA PreCheck

6. The first letter of this musical style mimics the shape your mouth makes when you sing it

7. Single hockey stick, say

8. Unit of pressure

9. Negatively charged ion

11. ____ D: world’s worst orange juice


1. Coke and Pepsi, for two

2. Another word for record

3. “It’s best to let sl_____g dogs lie”

4. A crime of Promethean proportion

5. Just another day in Seattle

10. Thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 C 2 L 3 E 4 A 5 R 6 O P E R A 7 L R 8 P S I 9 A 10N I O N 11S U N N Y
FILM 

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