Colleen Hoover is a very popular writer who is obviously doing something right as her books connect with so many people, but I have never successfully completed one of them. Keep that in mind as I tell you about the trailer for It Ends With Us, a new film based on Hoover’s eponymous novel. It Ends With Us stars Blake Lively as Lily, a florist—classic movie job—who ends up in an abusive relationship and is torn between sticking it out with her partner or rekindling an old flame with her childhood sweetheart. It’s about love and family and cycles of abuse, and I am already bummed out.


It’s not that It Ends With Us looks bad, it does not, though I inherently resent any movie that makes Jenny Slate the friend character, she is a star! But anyway, Blake Lively starring as a woman confronting her family’s past and her own reality and grappling with cycles of abuse and trauma has dramatic weight. It’s something so many people deal with, yet we as a society still struggle to talk about it meaningfully. Engaging art on the subject can help people process their own situations, and not that every movie must compel change, but sometimes art and narrative can be the key that unlocks a difficult door for people. And the line about what a person would do if their own child confessed they were being abused reminds me of Paloma Paris’s powerful song “Labour”, not a bad association. 


I’m just kind of thrown by how half of this trailer is like “sexy men and sexy situations!” and then the other half is “devastating domestic drama”. Cognitive dissonance! I know a lot of people like a little bitter in their sweet, but when it comes to romance like, my dating life is fraught enough, I like my romantic movies and books to be purely escapist (like Blake Lively’s bonkers romantic drama Age of Adaline). And that’s on me! Which means It Ends With Us is probably not for me, the same way Colleen Hoover’s books have not, to date, been for me. 


Also, many of us were surprised that Blake Lively skipped the Met Gala this year, as she is virtually a regular at that event. Then, earlier this week, she also skipped the premiere of IF, even though she is 1) in it and 2) her husband, Ryan Reynolds, stars in and co-produced it, too. Conspicuous absences like this often leads to speculation of domestic strife, but I wonder if she’s just saving her red carpet energy for this press tour. We know Blake loves a press tour, whether or not you love her style, she goes all out when she’s promoting her movies. Also, she has four young children. Sounds exhausting! 

Also also, the names of the dudes in this movie drive me nuts. Ryle and Atlas? Believable names for people under 25, not anyone over 25. I just met a pair of twins named Arrow and Lake, so I know names like this are coming and will become more standard in a narrative context, but names follow generational trends, and Arrow and Lake are sub-10. Atlas is probably catching on as we speak—following Archer, Axel, and Aurora—but it will be like, actual decades before the Atlases of the world are grown enough to be romantic heroes. Authors fall into the name trend pit all the time, and it is always jarring. 


Anyway, It Ends With Us comes with a baked-in audience of Colleen Hoover book fans, plus whoever counts as a Blake Lively fan—there is no compelling data that she’s a box office draw—and the weepy romance audience, too. For those looking for a weepy romance, It Ends With Us is probably right up your alley, and just as we’ve been missing sexy rom-coms at the theater, we have been missing weepy romances, too. It’s not my bag, but it could be yours. I hope it is! I want all movies to find their audience, even if I’m not part of it.