In the world of book-to-film adaptations, there is often a delicate balance to be struck between the expectations of dedicated fans and the creative choices made by filmmakers. Such is the case with the upcoming movie adaptation of Colleen Hoover’s bestselling novel and ‘Book-Tok’ favourite, It Ends With Us.
Recently, the author herself took a moment to address some of the initial criticisms that arose from fans regarding the film, including concerns about costumes and the casting choices.
Hoover’s 2016 novel captivated readers with its compelling narrative, delving into the complexities of romantic relationships and the challenges faced by its protagonist, Lily Bloom. As news of the film adaptation began to circulate, fans eagerly awaited glimpses of Blake Lively in the role of Lily. However, the first images from the set sparked mixed reactions, particularly regarding the character’s costumes. Some fans expressed disappointment and scepticism, with several TikTok and Instagram users even suggesting that the ‘frumpy’ outfits felt like a prank.
During her annual Book Bonanza Festival, Hoover candidly addressed the fashion controversy, emphasising that she remains unfazed by the criticism. In fact, she welcomed the discourse, viewing it as a sign that people care deeply about the project. She expressed her happiness that the chatter surrounding the film’s wardrobe is generating interest and attention.
As a writer, she revealed that her focus had never been on the clothing choices of her characters, and she expressed a similar sentiment about the film adaptation. When it comes to her characters‘ outfits, she stated, “I don’t remember describing outfits at all. I don’t care what they have on... It’s the same way in the movie.” Hoover believes that the heart of the story lies in the conversations and the narrative itself, rather than the apparel.
Hoover encouraged fans to reserve judgement until the film is released, highlighting that the outfits seen in early glimpses are out of context. She expressed her confidence in the production and asked fans to trust the creative team’s vision. “You’ve seen a couple of outfits that are completely out of context. I’m not worried about it,” she assured.
Her message to fans was one of faith and patience, urging them to wait until they can experience the complete cinematic interpretation. She said, “I’m not worried about it... You guys are going to be so happy. I’m extremely happy and now my expectations are up and I’m going to keep them there.”
In addition to the costume criticism, another point of contention raised by fans was the significant age differences between the actors and their characters. Lively, who portrays Lily, is more than ten years older than the 23-year-old protagonist, while Justin Baldoni, who plays Lily’s love interest, Ryle, is also older than his book counterpart. Hoover candidly acknowledged this discrepancy, explaining her original intention in the context of the “new adult” genre.
She said, “Back when I wrote It Ends With Us, the new adult [genre] was very popular... I was contracted to do college-age characters.” However, upon realising the realistic timeline for a neurosurgeon’s education, she recognized her oversight and saw the film adaptation as an opportunity to rectify it. “As I started making this movie, I’m like, ‘We need to age them out because I messed up,‘” she admitted. By ageing the characters to better align with their professions, Hoover aimed to address her mistake and enhance the authenticity of the story.
You heard it, folks! In the end, while some fans may have felt a bit deflated after glimpsing the costumes that had Blake Lively looking like a millennial badly impersonating a Gen Z, there’s no need to worry. After all, we’re talking about the queen of the Met Gala, the fashion chameleon who always manages to pull off even the most unconventional looks. If anyone can turn those quirky outfits into fashion statements, it’s Blake Lively. So let’s trust in her sartorial prowess and get ready to be pleasantly surprised when It Ends With Us hits the theatres, shall we?