nick and anne arms around each other in the idea of you
(Prime Video)

Does ‘The Idea of You’ Improve on the Book’s Ending?

Annie Hathaway’s latest movie, The Idea of You, is quickly winning over the hearts (and pants) of fans everywhere, as audiences are falling for the spicy relationship between Anne Hathaway’s gallery owner Soléne and pop singer Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine). Though the film version of The Idea of You sports a very different ending than the film. Let’s get into it.

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***SPOILER ALERT: This post spoils the ending of the book and the film.***

A Taboo Romance

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway almost kiss in 'The Idea of You'.
(Prime Video)

The Idea of You is centered around an age-gap romance between a 24-year-old boy band pop star and a 40-year-old divorcee. It’s hard to see what Soléne is missing in her life when we’re introduced to her character: she runs a fancy art gallery, wears expensive outfits, and can afford to drop everything she’s doing to babysit her daughter at Coachella. And no, those VIP tickets are not cheap. She also happens to look like Anne Hathaway, so she’s stunning. Soléne has a pretty great life and though she’s looking for love, she’s not actively seeking it out.

The two meet-cute when Soléne accidentally mistakes his trailer for a bathroom. The chemistry is palpable, so when Hayes invites her to join the European leg of his band’s tour, she agrees. He writes songs for her, she ignores her adult responsibilities, and they have a good time together and fall in love.

A Love That Won’t Last

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway lock eyes in 'The Idea of You'.
(Prime Video)

From the start, the love between an ordinary person and a pop star is doomed to fail. The constant media attention and inability to live a normal life take a toll on Soléne and her teenage daughter. It’s too much for her, and Soléne breaks up with Hayes because her relationship with her teenage daughter is more important to her, as it should be. The two part ways and Hayes says he wants to check in with Soléne in five years. She says that’s too long. Despite this, Hayes still shows up in the art gallery five years later in the last scene of the film and it’s implied that they get back together.

The Book Ends Differently

The Idea of You book cover
(St. Martin’s Griffin)

As with any film adaptation, there are differences between Robinne Lee’s original book and the movie version of The Idea of You. The biggest one remains the endings. The book explores a much more realistic picture of what it might be like to date a pop star. The title itself speaks to this theme that the idea of a relationship can sometimes be the driving force behind the connection, rather than the reality of what it looks like to live with that relationship. In concert with its theme, Hayes and Soléne never get back together in the book or check in after five years. Eventually, Hayes’ texts and calls peter out over time, and Soléne lives with a nostalgic memory of the relationship.

The book’s ending is more realistic and frankly, more interesting as a result. As audiences, we have already been fed so many happy endings from Hollywood that the end of the film version of TIOY fell flat. The book’s closure to the romance makes more sense and could have given the movie’s audiences more closure, too. Instead, we get a tacked-on ending where audiences get to guess what the future looks like. Something tells me it wouldn’t be all unicorns and rainbows if they let Robinne Lee write a second film, though.


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Author
Coco Poley
Coco Poley is a freelance writer, prolific poet, and artist who has been writing professionally for seven years. When Coco isn't writing poetry and fiction, they are creating some form of art or roller skating. You can find Coco's features on comics, TV, games, software, and film across the web on The Stack Overflow blog, How-to Geek, Women Write About Comics, and Sidequest.Zone. Follow Coco's journey as an author or buy their art at http://linktr.ee/youcancallmecoco.