10 Movie Romances That Were Better In The Book


  • Some movie adaptations of book romances fail to capture the depth and development of the relationships, leaving out crucial moments and character motivations.
  • For example, the
    Hunger Games
    books explicitly say why Katniss ends up with Peeta, while the movie suggests that it is only because she and Gale fall out.
  • The movie adaptation of
    Where The Crawdads Sing
    touches on the relationship between Kya and Tate, but the book explores it more deeply with scenes that highlight their shared passion and compatibility more convincingly.



Developing an interesting and believable relationship between two characters takes time, which is why many romances are better in their respective books than movie adaptations. Turning a book into a movie is inherently difficult because it necessitates trimming down the plot and cutting some of the readers’ favorite scenes. Still, some movies have managed to pull it off and depict amazing romances brought to life by talented actors and writers. However, some movie romances pale in comparison to the book’s version of events.

Sometimes, there is simply not enough time for the characters to get to know each other, and their relationship feels rushed. In other adaptations, the best interactions from the source material are not brought to the screen, or the individual defining aspects of their personalities that are vital to understanding why the characters even want to be together is lost in translation. While it is possible to adapt a book’s romance well, it does not happen very often. Even some of the most successful franchises of all time, such as the Harry Potter films and the Hunger Games movies, have struggled with it.

10 Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark

The Hunger Games Saga

Katniss and Peeta pretend to be star-crossed lovers to win sponsors in the Hunger Games. However, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books make it clearer that Peeta has had a crush on Katniss for years, making their romance not just a result of their mutual horrific experiences. Additionally, the books explain why Katniss and Peeta end up together in the end. On the other hand, the movie suggests that this only happens because Katniss falls out with Gale. In the final Hunger Games book, called Mockingjay, Katniss says that she would have ended up with Peeta anyway because she needs his hopeful outlook to match her darker personality.

9 Bella Swan & Edward Cullen

The Twilight Saga

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan's first kiss in Twilight

Bella and Edward’s relationship is toxic because he is controlling and possessive of her. Their relationship in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books is marginally better because Edward at least apologizes for preventing Bella from seeing Jacob, while the movie does not acknowledge that he did anything wrong. Additionally, in the movie, Edward tells Bella about the years he spent living off human blood the night before her wedding, which seems like something he should have brought up earlier. He does tell her about this in the first novel, making their relationship feel more earned.

8 Kya Clarke & Tate Walker

Where The Crawdads Sing (2022)

Where the Crawdads Sing

Release Date
July 15, 2022

Olivia Newman

Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Michael Hyatt, David Strathairn, Sterling Macer, Jr.


While the movie adaptation of Delia Owens’ bestselling novel touches upon what makes Kya and Tate’s relationship work, the book explores it more. Tate leaves Kya because he does not believe their lives are compatible, as he wants to become a scientist and Kya is only comfortable in her secluded home. They rekindle their romance and eventually marry when Tate begins working at a nearby facility. The book includes more scenes of Kya and Tate discussing flora and fauna, demonstrating how the foundation of their relationship is their shared passion for learning more about the marsh.

7 Andrea Sachs & Nate Cooper

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Nate and Andy Hugging in The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada

Release Date
June 30, 2006

David Frankel

Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Meryl Streep


Andrea’s relationship with her boyfriend Nate in The Devil Wears Prada, who is called Alex in Lauren Weisberger’s book of the same name, suffers when she takes a demanding job working for a vicious magazine editor. While Nate is viewed as unsupportive of Andy’s career, Alex is more patient with her. Yet rising tensions lead to them breaking up, but it is implied that they get back together at the end of the movie. In the book, they agree that their relationship is in the past but remain friends. The finality of their book breakup is not necessarily a bad thing, as it shows that the characters are flawed people who must live with their choices.

6 Eragon & Arya

Eragon (2006)

Eragon and Arya looking up at something

Release Date
December 15, 2006

Stefen Fangmeier

Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, Ed Speleers, Djimon Hounsou, Robert Carlyle, Sienna Guillory, John Malkovich, Garrett Hedlund, Joss Stone


Throughout The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the dragon-rider Eragon and elven princess Arya undertake many dangerous missions together. They come to respect one another as warriors and trust each other more than anyone. While Eragon expresses his feelings for Arya, she rejects him because they both need to concentrate on the war ahead and because of their age difference, making her the only immortal to ever worry about this. It is a complex story between two fully-developed characters who are responsible for something greater than themselves. The Eragon movie trades this out for a cheap romantic subplot, with Ayra being a boring, flirty character.

5 Scott Pilgrim & Ramona Flowers

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers staring at Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Release Date
August 13, 2010

Edgar Wright

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brandon Routh, Kieran Culkin, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Alison Pill, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Michael Cera


Scott and Ramona’s relationship has its issues, but it is salvageable. Scott needs to break up with Knives, while Ramona needs to be her own person. In the live-action movie, Scott apologizes to Knives for cheating on her, and Ramona says that she “still [needs] a new life,” before walking away alone. A moment later, Knives tells Scott to “go get her,” he catches up with Ramona, and the movie ends with them walking away holding hands. Whereas the movie ignores the personal development that it openly admits Scott and Ramona need, the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Brian Lee O’Malley give them time away from each other.

4 Remus Lupin & Nymphadora Tonks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Remus Lupin standing with Tonks in the Harry Potter movies
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Release Date
July 15, 2009

David Yates

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Warwick Davis, Maggie Smith


Remus and Tonks’ relationship is only a minor part of the movie, the only confirmation of it being that they leave the Burrow together as she addresses him as “sweetheart.” For most of J. K. Rowling’s Half-Blood Prince, Remus rejects Tonks because he does not want to burden her with the social stigma of being with a werewolf, and she does not come to Christmas at the Burrow. Their relationship is on and off, and he briefly leaves her when she is pregnant in the seventh book. Remus ultimately returns and dedicates the rest of his life to her. The Harry Potter movies also only briefly mention their son, Teddy.

3 Alex Claremont-Diaz & Prince Henry

Red, White & Royal Blue (2023)

Alex and Henry hold hands in a museum in Red White & Royal Blue
Red, White & Royal Blue

Release Date
August 11, 2023

Matthew Lopez

Taylor Zakhar Perez, Nicholas Galitzine, Uma Thurman, Stephen Fry, Sarah Shahi, Ellie Bamber


Many of Alex and Henry’s conversations in Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston are via text messages and emails, a format that is difficult to transition into a movie. The book includes them having longer discussions about history and culture, as well as signing off their emails with a quote from a historical figure who they believe could have been queer. The movie only briefly glosses over the interests and passions that make Alex and Henry interesting people to the audience and each other. While Red, White & Royal Blue is a good movie, it could have made its main characters even more interesting had it followed the book more closely.

2 Mr. Darcy & Lizzie Bennet

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy dance in Pride and Prejudice 2005
Pride and Prejudice

Created by
Jane Austen

Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike, Simon Woods, Jena Malone

Joe Wright made many changes to Pride and Prejudice that upset hard-core book fans, especially concerning the central romance. Jane Austen’s classic romance novel includes many long, elegant passages of dialogue that establish Darcy and Lizzie as intellectual equals. The movie has to settle for only bits of its source material, hoping that it will properly convey the relationship. The 1995 TV miniseries starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle includes significantly more material from the book, but it is five and a half hours long in total. The Pride and Prejudice movie is a classic, but the source material is the superior version of the story.

1 Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

The Harry Potter movies essentially ignored Ginny’s feisty personality in the books, turning her into a passive character. It’s not really clear what Harry likes about her when she is not a defined character to begin with, at least compared to her book counterpart. Most of Harry and Ginny’s story was lost when the books were adapted, including Harry’s inner turmoil about his feelings for Ginny contrasted with his loyalty to Ron. Additionally, the movies also missed the key context of Harry and Ginny officially dating for a while before Harry breaks up with her to protect her from Voldemort. While they were endgame, the couple could’ve been much better.


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