Robinne Lee’s Book-Turned-Movie, ‘The Idea Of You’ Becomes Amazon/MGM’s Biggest Rom-Com Debut To Date

The author admitted to making her characters white so that the book would sell, and it worked.

“The Idea Of You” has become one of Amazon/MGM’s biggest hits and has amassed over 50 million viewers since its release on May 2, making it the streamer’s number 1 rom-com debut of all time. This film stars Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine as May-December lovebirds and was adapted from a book that Robinne Lee, a Black woman, wrote ten years ago. Lee is also an actress who starred in films and shows like “Deliver Us From Eva,” “Being Mary Jane,” and “Fifty Shades.” 

Writers can often be forgotten by the glitz and the glamour of the movies. Lee knows there’s a significance in the public being aware that she’s the pen behind this deliciously, romantic film. She explained to Variety, “I thought it was important that people knew that a Black woman wrote this book. Because if it inspires one other little girl out there with a journal and a pen to say, ‘I can do this. I can write a story that eventually becomes a movie with a big Oscar-winning actor,’ then I want to be the person for that kid.” Spoken like a true role model. 

Lee feels like this dream has been 10 years in the making. “I spent six years writing a book prior to writing this book. Right before “The Idea of You, [I wrote a book] that I could not sell. It was a Black protagonist. There was a white love interest. And one of the responses I got from an editor at that time was, ‘Oh, well, no, we already have an interracial relationship that we’re putting out this year,’” she shared. 

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“When I thought about this book, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna sell this book. Nothing’s gonna keep me back.’ If I have to make two white characters, I’m going to make them two white characters, but I’m going to make them very personal and specific to me.”

Yeah. That. Lee did what she needed to do to get the book sold and now, it’s a hit movie. Funny how that worked.

Lee knows the work she put into this romantic tale and is still shocked by its success. She shared a carousel celebrating the book and living her dreams. The caption read:

“If you had told 13-year-old me that one day I’d be taking quick jaunts to London for last minute holidays with my husband and kids, where I could sit in cafés finishing up one book, while coming across another in a major bookstore on Charing Cross, and drop into gallery openings in Mayfair, and stroll the streets of Marylebone, and drink in all the accents and call it research, and eat all the things, all of them, before hopping a high speed train back to my home in Paris — I would have said, ‘No bloody way.’ Alas, here I am. Living out my teen fantasies.”

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