The Hating Game: Book vs. Movie Comparison

    The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is an enemies to lovers rom-com which was published originally on 9th August 2016. The book follows two lead characters, Lucy and Josh. They both work for a publishing company and absolutely cannot stand each other. When a new position for a managing director opens up, they both compete for it and play games to annoy each other. Released on 10th December 2021 the movie is directed by Peter Hutchings. Lucy Hale plays Lucy Hutton and Austin Stowell plays Joshua Templeman.

    I had read the book a while ago and when the movie was announced I knew I had to watch it as soon as it came out. The Hating Game is one of my favourite books. First of all, it has the classic enemies to lovers trope. There is the perfect amount of angst and romance in the book. Moreover, the book is set in an office which just adds to its entire atmosphere. I had high expectations from the movie because of the cast and direction. Generally, book to movie adaptations are not well-done but in my opinion, this was a pretty solid adaptation.

    However, the tension building between the characters felt too rushed in the movie. The book builds up tension and there is a lot of banter. The music choice could have been better and as it would have contributed to the build-up. After seeing the movie I think that Austin Stowell was not the perfect choice to play Josh. Josh is very sarcastic and witty throughout the book but I wasn’t getting that sarcasm and humour from Austin. In the book, they had a proper emotional breakthrough before Josh’s brother’s wedding but the movie just completely skipped that part. To me, that whole scenario was very special when I read about it and I was hoping to get the same from the movie.

    The Ending

    The biggest difference was that they completely changed the ending. In the book when Josh takes Lucy to his apartment he does the big reveal that he got a job elsewhere. This is where the book comes to an end. In the movie however that was not the case. We are taken back to the office in the movie and Lucy overhears Josh telling Bexley that he does not need help beating her. After that, there is a coffee shop scene involving Danny where Josh gets jealous of Danny and walks away. In the book, these scenes happen before Josh’s brother’s wedding and before the emotional break-through. The movie was great until this point. The scenes at the end just felt very out of place for me. In the movie, Lucy finds out that Josh got a job elsewhere in front of everyone. Josh announces that Lucy is the new managing director and Josh is now going to work for Harper Collins.


    The book is my absolute favourite and I would totally give it five stars. The movie, however, was a solid 3.5 stars for me.

    If you have watched or read The Hating Game leave your thoughts down in the comment section. For more exciting content like this keep following Retrology!

    Amel Aamer
    Amel Aamer
    I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Let it be school magazines, online platforms or different university societies, writing is one thing that always brings out the best in me. I am also a huge Movie and TV Show watcher. Moreover, I love reading books too.
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