Few things divide the book community more than book adaptations. The Hating Game is a very popular book in the romance genre because of the popular “enemies to lovers” trope and the situations that steam from it: only one bed, boy obsessed, banter, angst, etc.
I always say that reading The Hating Game felt like a fever dream and seeing the movie yesterday reminded me why I used to say that. There were so many elements that I had forgotten from the book and it was so nice to see them again!
Round 1 -Enemies to lovers aspect: Book
The movie showed the “enemies to lovers” trope pretty well but since it’s a movie and they couldn’t linger on some scenes and had to show other elements, I thought the “enemies” phase was not as long as it could have been. The book definitely wins this round because the slow burn was delicious and the “hate” phase took place during a larger portion of the book and that’s why I loved it.
Round 2 – Chemistry: TIE
Part of the reason why this story is so popular is the chemistry between the characters both when they hate and love each other. I think it’s represented equally well in both the book and the movie and that’s why I enjoyed them! In the book it was in the little things and details and in the movie it was in the way the actors behaved and looked at each other.
Round 3 -Spice: Movie
Both the movie and the book were pretty steamy (just the right amount of description) but seeing the elevator kiss on screen was HAWT and I felt all giddy and happy. We could feel and actually see the sexual tension between the two, so the movie wins this round.
Round 4 – Swoon moments: Book
Though the movie showed Josh taking care of Lucy or giving her the roses, I think the book conveyed the “swoon” moments better, with the origin of the nickname “shortcake” explained, all the small ways Josh showed his love for Lucy and especially that iconic scene of Lucy realizing he painted his bedroom Robin’s egg blue, which is the color of her eyes. There’s just something about the way the book is written and that particular scene.
Round 5 -Banter: Book
Well the book had more time to properly install the banter, with the character’s small jabs and quips at each other on nearly every page. It felt a little unrealistic in the movie (and let’s face it, in the book too), but I think it looked more artificial whereas in the book it felt natural, nearly organic.
Verdict: The Book was better
I actually loved the book more (surprise, surprise) but it was nice to compare them on these different aspects and see that the movie held its own in different categories. I mourn the loss of the iconic line “Anthony, it’s been real” and the intensity of the scene, but as far as adaptations go, this was a lovely movie, filled with all the romcom feels and I think I’m going to watch it again! It was very comforting and a pleasant surprise! The actors had better chemistry than I thought and the plot was really entertaining and still faithful to the book. Bravo!
Also, here’s my review of the book if you missed it.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 🥰