“Maybe American viewers are not ready”: Anne Hathaway’s The Idea of You Doesn’t Impress Original Author Over Changed Ending That’s Completely Different from the Book

Robinne Lee feels the adaptation of her novel The Idea of You employed a stereotypical Hollywood ending to the story.

anne hathaway’s the idea of you


  • Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galatzine star in Amazon's new rom-com, The Idea of You.
  • The film is based on the novel of the same name by Robinne Lee, and featured a happy ending rather than the novel's sombre one.
  • Lee does not understand Hollywood's obsession with happy endings and feels that the film's ending is not what she wanted for the story.
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Spoiler warning for those that haven’t read or watched The Idea of You.


Anne Hathaway’s rom-com, The Idea of You, co-starring Nicholas Galatzine, has managed to impress fans of the genre. Hathaway’s pairing with Galatzine intrigued fans, in addition to the beloved reputation of its source novel by Robinne Lee. Fans are already raving about the film on social media.

Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galatzine in The Idea of You
Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galatzine in The Idea of You

As expected in literary adaptations, the cinematic version takes various liberties and changes from the novel. But surprisingly, the film changed the sad ending of the book to an optimistic one. While Lee did not feel betrayed by the ending, she understood why the makers went for a more traditional Hollywood ending.


Robinne Lee Understands the Hollywood Algorithm Behind The Idea of You‘s Changed Ending

Solène and Hayes having an adorable moment
Robinne Lee prefers her novel’s ending to the happy ending in Amazon’s The Idea of You

Robinne Lee’s beloved novel, The Idea of You, chronicled a brewing romance between a 40-year-old woman and a 24-year-old pop star. The novel provided a thought-provoking and hard-hitting portrayal of the scrutiny they received because of the age gap and its impact on their relationship.

The novel ends on a sad note with both of them going their separate ways. In the latest adaptation of the book starring Anne Hathaway as Solène and Nicholas Galatzine as Hayes, the filmmakers changed the ending where the two characters reunite and seemingly reignite their romance.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lee stated that she understood the changes made to her book as the film is a completely different medium. Regarding the changed ending, she was unimpressed with how Hollywood always tries to shove in a happy ending everywhere possible, leading her to think that the genre’s fans are not ready for sad endings.


While she prefers her original sad but powerful ending, she also knows that audiences love rom-coms to have a happy and fluffy ending. Thus, the film changed the novel’s somber ending to make the film more accessible. Lee said,

“It’s America — Hollywood’s going to do what they’re going to do, and they’re going to throw a happy ending on everything,” Lee says. “I don’t know why. You hope they’ll keep to what you’ve written because it meant something to you, but you also have to think about the box office and viewers and what their audience is going to want to see.

Even though there’s obviously a huge overlap between readers and movie viewers, I think when you are gearing something towards a movie audience, it’s a slightly different fanbase, and maybe American viewers are not ready for [a sad ending].”

Lee further expressed how she wants to have a cathartic experience while watching a film rather than be given stereotypical tropes (citing the example of Titanic). As for the changes, the movie’s ending was not the story she wanted to tell, as it undoes the intentions she wanted for the characters and the novel’s themes.

Anne Hathaway Does Not Want to be Pigeonholed Because of Her Age and Accomplishments

Anne Hathaway does not mind doing rom-coms that feels right like The Idea of You
Anne Hathaway does not mind doing rom-coms that feel right like The Idea of You

Anne Hathaway‘s return to the rom-com genre with The Idea of You in her 40s is not something one would have expected. Additionally, after lots of dramatic roles and an Oscar win, one wouldn’t have hoped that Hathaway would do a rom-com with a much younger co-star Nicholas Galatzine. However, the actress stated that she does not want to be put in a box because of these factors.


Hathaway claimed that her accomplishments and age do not limit her as to what she or should not do. The Idea of You had a fun script that she resonated with and she did it without any hesitation or concerns. She said (via Glamour),

“I don’t want to be pigeonholed and don’t want to be placed in a box of what type of films I have to be making because of my age, gender, and because I won an Oscar. I want to have fun, dammit. It speaks to me.”

The Idea of You is directed by Michael Showalter and has been received very well by fans. The chemistry between Hathaway and Galatzine along with the film’s portrayal of celebrity culture and media scrutiny has been praised by most people. It currently has an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fans can watch The Idea of You on Amazon Prime.


Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 1146

Rahul Thokchom is a senior content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.