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Netflix’s ‘Love At First Sight’ Made Some Major Changes From The Book

Regardless of if you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that book-to-screen adaptations have taken the world by storm. From projects like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Twilight to more recent ones like The Summer I Turned Pretty, Daisy Jones & the Six, Shadow & Bone and Heartstopper, they create massive followings and allow the audience to see the book in a way they hadn’t before. Whether you’re a fan of the original source material and want to see your favorite characters brought to life or want to enjoy the story but don’t have the time or attention span to read the novel, there’s something for everyone with book-to-screen adaptations. 

One of the most recent ones is Netflix’s new film, Love at First Sight. Starring Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy, this rom-com tells the story of Hadley and Oliver, two strangers who fall in love on their flight from New York to London. They’re both pretty sure they’ll never see each other again, but the universe has other plans. Though writers and directors might want to, they can’t fit a 200+ page book into an hour-and-a-half movie. So, some changes had to be made — both for screen time and for a better understanding of the film. 

The title itself

The title of the book is not Love at First Sight as the movie might have lead you to believe, but rather The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. This isn’t necessarily uncommon in film adaptations where the book has a long title. Take the  2018 film  Love, Simon for instance. It’s book is titled Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda. Not only does the film’s title  roll off the tongue much smoother, but it also doesn’t take up as much room on a movie poster. 

The Narrator

While the book is written in a third-person limited perspective, the film has a narrator that tells both perspectives of Hadley and Oliver’s love story. The narrator, though, has a bigger part in the film as she also works as a guardian angel who moves along their love story. If you find yourself loving  Hadley and Oliver in the film, there’s a good chance you’re going to be rooting for them alongside the guardian angel. 

How Oliver & Hadley Meet

What would a rom-com be without a meet-cute? Oliver and Hadley’s first time meeting may not be majorly different from the book, but it is noticeable. In the movie, they first meet while waiting at the terminal where Oliver offers Hadley his phone charger. However, in the book, Oliver helps Hadley with her luggage. Along with this slight difference, the movie also changed where Oliver and Hadley sit on the flight to London. The pair’s first conversation may be different in the film, but it still has the audience hoping for a meet cute of their own. 

The Major Plot Twist

Every good book and movie has a major plot twist that will make readers’ and viewers’ eyes widen in shock. In the movie, that part is when Oliver gives Hadley his phone number and she drops her phone, losing his contact information. In the book, however, the plot twist is the fact that their first kiss happens right before they head into customs. Whether you’re a fan of slow burns or fast burns, both the book and the movie will have you covered.

Oliver’s Backstory

One of the biggest differences in the film has to do with Oliver’s backstory and his family life. In the movie, Oliver is flying home to London to attend a wake for his mother, Tessa, who is, fortunately, still alive, but unfortunately, gravely ill. The wake is accompanied with costumed performers, rapping, and Tessa giving a speech that will have you in tears. In the book, though, Oliver’s flying home to attend his father’s funeral. Whether you read the book, watch the movie, or do both, you will probably need to keep a couple tissues handy. 

For the most part, there aren’t many major changes to the film from the book. The biggest one  was the introduction of the narrator character, which was used to move the plot forward and allow the audience to get a better understanding of these two beloved characters and their romance. Whether you’re a fan of the book and wanted to see how faithful the adaptation was or enjoyed the movie and want to know what the book was like, now you know. Both the book and the movie can make the hopeless romantic in you believe in love and fuel your meet- cute fantasies. 

Born and raised in Arizona, Kayleigh Shaw is a Her Campus National Writer. She mainly writes for the Culture section, primarily focused on the latest entertainment news, but will occasionally write about life and career, giving advice to a wide array of readers. Outside of Her Campus, Kayleigh was also a part of Rod Pulido’s Street Team for his debut novel, Chasing Pacquiao and completed social media challenges to promote the book. She also hopes to one day write for Screen Rant and Comic Book Resources. where she will continue to use her love of all things pop culture to her advantage. She also graduated from Glendale Community College in May 2022 with an Associate's Degree in English. When Kayleigh's not working on journalism pieces, she can be found writing poems and short stories, reading, watching TikToks, listening to their favorite podcasts, listening and dancing to Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu (while crying over fictional characters and relationships.) She would live in a library and avoid the rest of the world if she could. She also drinks coffee like a Gilmore and often goes down rabbit holes researching their hyper fixations.