Here's Why The Idea Of You's Ending Is Completely Different To The Original Book

2 May 2024, 17:26

The Idea of You ending: Here's why it's completely different to the book
The Idea of You ending: Here's why it's completely different to the book. Picture: Prime Video
Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The original Idea of You book features a devastating ending for Hayes and Solène. Here's why the filmmakers changed it.

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So, you've just watched The Idea of You and you're wondering whether or not the film stayed true to the original book's devastating ending? Do Hayes and Solène actually end up together at the end of the film? Here's your answer – and your explanation.

The Idea of You, starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine, has finally been released on Prime Video and people are already falling in love with Hayes and Solène's whirlwind romance.

There's several key differences between the film and Robinne Lee's original book, including the ages of the two main characters (Solène is 39 and Hayes is 20 in the book, while they're 40 and 24 in the film) and a couple of other key details that unfold during their relationship.

The ending, however, is perhaps the biggest difference of all. Director Michael Showalter has now explained why it was important to make those changes, and deviate from the original book's ending.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Idea of You ending!

The Idea of You's ending is completely different from the original book
The Idea of You's ending is completely different from the original book. Picture: Alamy

How does The Idea of You movie end?

In the film, Solène breaks up with Hayes due to the intrusive media attention surrounding their relationship and the affect it's having on her daughter Izzy. They confess that they still love each other, and Hayes asks her to make a promise that they will revisit their relationship in five years. They then go their separate ways.

In the final scene, which happens five years later, Hayes and Solène reunite in her gallery. The film ends on a hopeful note, implying that they're going to get back together and give their relationship a real shot.

Do Hayes and Solène end up together in The Idea of You book? Here's why it's different to the movie
Do Hayes and Solène end up together in The Idea of You book? Here's why it's different to the movie. Picture: Alamy

How does The Idea of You book end? Do Hayes and Solène end up together?

Nope – in the book, Hayes and Solène do not end up together. And the abrupt end to their romance left readers heartbroken when the book was first released.

At the end of the novel, Solène breaks up with Hayes, much like she does in the film. However, instead of the promise that Hayes and Solène make to each other in the film, the book details how Solène "resists" responding to Hayes' calls and messages because she made a choice and she's sticking to it. She also lies and tells him she no longer loves him.

In the book, Hayes calls and texts Solène multiple times, every day, after their break up, tells her that he misses her, that he's thinking of her and that he still loves her. This goes on for months but she doesn't respond to any of them. One day, Hayes stops reaching out, and Solène notes that his messages stopped "long, long before I had stopped loving him."


Watch The Idea of You trailer

Explaining why the film features a completely different ending that the original book, director Michael Showalter told "I think, for me, it was more just as the filmmaker, and as a fan of romantic comedy and romantic movies, this felt like the kind of movie where we wanted to give the audience a hopeful ending."

He added: "And so, we certainly could have ended the movie in a different way. But for this story, we felt like a more uplifting ending was what would be most satisfying for our audience. And ultimately, the audience is what matters most when making a movie like this."

Elaborating on the changes, producer Cathy Schulman explained: "A book and filmed entertainment are so completely different - one is internalised, one is externalised - and so, you know, I always try to look at it like, what is the mood and the underlying kind of spirit... that comes out of the novel? And to take that and bring it forward."

And there you have it!

Read more about The Idea of You here:

WATCH: Nicholas Galitzine Paints The Idea Of You's Hayes Campbell

Nicholas Galitzine Paints A Portrait While Answering Chaotic Questions | The Idea of You

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