The Hating Game

Written by Maria Athayde


Romantic comedies are a dying breed. Aside from Happiest Season (2020), I cannot recall the last time a romantic comedy hit was released on the big screen to critical and public acclaim. Romantic comedy movies seem to be a thing of the past. Nowadays romantic comedies seem to have been relegated to the occasional Netflix release or video-on-demand market. Outside of the film industry, the romantic comedy market appears to be cooking. A simple internet search will yield countless results of the best romantic comedy books of the year. The market for romantic comedy books is so popular that it even has a dedicated page for it on Amazon’s book department.  

So when I discovered that Sally Thorne’s book The Hating Game was being adapted into a movie I got excited. It stars Lucy Hale as Lucy Hutton and Austin Stowell as Joshua Templeman is an enemies-to-lovers office romance. The movie, much like the book, is formulaic in every sense of the word but that did not make it any less enjoyable. From the get-go, you know that the protagonists are going to get their happily ever after a few bumps in the road. 

Thorne’s book has gathered quite a few devotees online. For those that are superfans of the book, I can definitely imagine how the film adaptation will be less than ideal. First, the movie is much less steamy than the book. Second, the Joshua Templeman that we see on screen is much less intimidating than the one we get to know in the book. As a casual reader of the romantic comedy novels and Sally Thorne’s other work, these minor differences did not bother me at all. Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell were well cast in their roles and did a good job in selling the conflict and romance between the two characters. The Hating Game is a comfort movie that doesn’t require much effort from viewers, that will nevertheless leave you satisfied.

The Hating Game Trailer

The Hating Game is available on most major VOD platforms.

You can follow Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde on LetterboxdTwitter, or Instagram and view more of what she’s up to here.

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