Netflix’s romantic comedy film, Love at First Sight, is based on a 2011 bestselling novel written by YA author Jennifer E. Smith. So, what are the differences between the Love at First Sight movie and the book?
Every bookworm knows that once a book gets adapted into a movie or series, there are always bound to be some changes. These changes can either make the story better or will make bookworms say that the book is better.
Here are the differences between the Love at First Sight movie and book!
Warning: This article contains book spoilers for Love at First Sight. So, if you haven’t read the book yet, read at your own risk!
The most obvious change is the title. The title of the book Love at First Sight is based on is actually The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. However, it’s understandable why “The Statistical Probability” was dropped in the movie title.
First, it may be just too long for a film title, and second, people might end up calling the film “Statistical Probability”, which may not be desirable for a rom-com movie. So, “Love at First Sight” works well as the movie’s title.
Another difference between the Love at First Sight movie and the book is the presence of the Narrator. Jameela Jamil’s Narrator is a character that didn’t exist in the books.
This change is something that works well with the story considering that the book was written in the third person point-of-view.
What’s interesting, however, is that Jamil’s character doesn’t just tell us what’s going on; she intervenes in the story too. The Narrator appears throughout the film in different roles and in crucial moments.
Jamil’s character was never named, but given her role in the film, and the fact that the movie does revolve around fate, she could be Fate herself.
More of Oliver and His Family
In the book, Hadley is the main character. While the book is set in a twenty-four-hour period, it contains flashback scenes about Hadley and her family, and her relationship with her mother is explored. Apart from her romance with Oliver, the book also revolves around Hadley trying to forgive her father.
So, we don’t get much about Oliver’s background. But the movie changes that by giving us scenes from Oliver’s perspective too. So, if you’re someone who read the book first, you can appreciate this change because it was done to expand the scope of the story.
One big change in the movie, however, has something to do with Oliver’s father. In the book, Oliver goes home to London to attend his father’s funeral. He also did not have a good relationship with him.
Oliver’s father was someone who cheated on his wife multiple times, and Oliver considered him “a bloody jerk in a million other ways” too. In this part, Hadley and Oliver are similar, with both of them having problems with their fathers.
In the movie, Oliver goes to London to attend the memorial service of his mother who’s still alive. His mother has been fighting lung cancer for years and decided not to get treated further. Instead, she chooses to have a Shakespeare-themed memorial before she passes away.
It appears that Oliver has a good relationship with his father too, and his father is a loving husband toward his wife. We also see the Jones family dynamic, and Oliver’s parents and his brother are the ones who convinced him to go after Hadley.
So, there’s more of Oliver and his family in the movie. Additionally, if you’re someone who watched the movie first, you may find yourself wanting to read the book to learn more about Hadley too.
Hadley and Oliver’s First Kiss
In the romance genre, the first kiss of the couple matters. So, while this change doesn’t really have a major effect on the story, it’s listed here for fans of romance who just want to know how it went in the book.
In the movie, Hadley and Oliver only get a proper kiss in the end. But in the book, they kiss before they get separated at the customs line.
Both the book and the movie’s ending highlight the fact that things are just “beginning” for Hadley and Oliver. However, the book ends with Hadley and Oliver’s conversation about “the statistical probability of love at first sight”, and leaves readers drawing their own conclusions as to what would happen next.
But in the movie, the Narrator tells us what happens next: they’ll be married for 58 years and have a daughter; Hadley will hold Oliver’s hand when his mother dies, and Oliver will hold Hadley’s when she takes her last breath.
The Narrator ends by saying that all of those things would not have been possible were it not for a missed flight, a broken seat belt, and a choice to love each other every day.
Of course, there are other changes from the books like Hadley’s age (in the book she’s 17, but in the movie, she’s 20), and the fact that Hadley left a book at the memorial, and not her bag.
If you’ve finished the film and enjoyed it, you may consider reading the book to decide for yourself which one is better.
READ MORE: Love at First Sight's Ending Explained