‘The Idea of You’ Ending: Book Vs. Movie Difference Explained – Hollywood Life

‘The Idea of You’ Ending: The Difference Between the Book Vs. Movie

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine's movie has a different ending compared to that of the book. Find out how the movie ends versus the original story.

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Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You
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Image Credit: Courtesy of Prime

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine successfully delivered one of the year’s most popular romance films. The Idea of You — based on Robinne Lee’s book with the same title — was released on Prime Video on May 2, and the movie’s ending is quite different from the original story. The cast and crew have teased audiences with their love of the book, but many fans haven’t even read it! So, how does the book end compared to the film?

Hollywood Life has broken down the differences between The Idea of You movie versus the book!

How Does ‘The Idea of You’ Movie End?

Nicholas’ character, Hayes Campbell, and Anne’s character, Soléne Marchand, have fallen in love and can’t help but stay together. Against all odds, the 40-year-old single mom and the 24-year-old boy band super star briefly split in the middle of the film because of a misunderstanding. Hayes’ bandmates from August Moon reveal to Soléne that he’s used the “Closer” song on other women before her, and she leaves Europe after telling him she’s “ashamed” of being with him due to their age gap.

After paparazzi pictures and tabloid headlines threaten to humiliate her, Soléne later apologizes to Hayes for what she said, and they quickly reconcile. Nevertheless, they still can’t be together because of one reason: Soléne’s daughter, Izzy, is being harassed and bullied by peers over her mother’s relationship. Soléne and Hayes agree to break up toward the end of the film, and they share one last kiss after exchanging emotional “I love yous.”

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You movie
Alisha Wetherill/Prime

However, viewers don’t need to lose hope. Hayes asks Soléne to revisit their relationship in five years after Izzy goes off to college. During the film’s epilogue, Soléne is changing channels on TV one night and comes across an interview with Hayes. Hayes reveals he is now a solo artist and is returning to L.A. to visit someone, but he never reveals who. Shortly thereafter, Soléne and Hayes reunite at her art gallery.

The movie ends with Soléne’s tearful yet happy reaction upon seeing Hayes. Although viewers don’t know whether or not they actually get back together, it’s clear they still harbor strong feelings for one another.

‘The Idea of You’ Book Ending

The Idea of You book has a starkly different conclusion than the movie, and it broke readers’ hearts. Soléne does, in fact, end her romance with Hayes because they are at different phases in their lives. However, Hayes shows up at Soléne’s doorstep weeks later to inform her he has quit August Moon. Nevertheless, Soléne tells him he can’t end his career for her.

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in a scene from The Idea of You
Alisha Wetherill/Prime

The two still hook up, but Soléne lies to Hayes by telling him she never actually loved him — only the idea of him. Hayes returns to his band but still texts her to tell her he loves her. After ignoring him for months, the book ends with Soléne admitting, “And then one day, [the texts] stopped. Long, long before I had stopped loving him.”

Why Does ‘The Idea of You’ Movie Have a Different Ending?

Director Michael Showalter understood that fans watching their movie needed more hope than they got from the book. Speaking with RadioTimes.com, the filmmaker explained why they made a different ending.

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in a scene from The Idea of You
Courtesy of Prime

“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 explained. “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.”