‘Book Lovers’ Is the Wrong Emily Henry Adaptation for Ayo Edebiri and Paul Mescal

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Two Irish icons teamed up this past weekend to make this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations go down in history. Normal People’s Paul Mescal and The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri—who is not technically Irish, but for all intents and purposes, she “is” of the Irish people, per a running joke—posed together for a photo captioned “Happy St. Paddy’s” on Instagram. Okay, I’ll cheers to that. Sláinte!

And yet, this adorable pic of the stars—who fans want to date, but are “just friends,” per TMZ—wasn’t the best post of the weekend. Because as soon as famed romance author Emily Henry reposted the photo on her Instagram story, everyone in the world of rom-coms had the same two thoughts: Are these two starring in an adaptation of one of her novels? And if so, which one???

Not to mention: Screenwriter/director Yulin Kuang, who is set to adapt both Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, shared the same picture to her story. These are some Taylor Swift-level clues, guys.

We need answers. But we’re probably not going to get updates anytime soon. So in the meantime, let’s do some forecasting, shall we? Plenty of social media users started playing the guessing game of which book Edebiri and Mescal could star in an adaptation of—since Henry has four books currently released and just three of those are currently in the works to be adapted into movies, it can’t be that hard to figure out.

The first guess fans had was Book Lovers, seeing as Tango Entertainment, who also produced Aftersun—the movie that led Mescal to his first Oscar nomination—was tapped to lead the way on that novel’s film adaptation. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this Henry novel would be the least compelling story for Edebiri and Mescal to recreate.

It’s not because Book Lovers is bad; it’s wonderful! It’s just not the right story for these two in particular. Book Lovers follows two high-profile workaholics in the publishing world as they become mortal enemies and, eventually—no spoiler here—lovers. Nora and Charlie are way-too-put-together New Yorkers with big egos and even bigger paychecks, roles that aren’t well-suited for the charming, incredibly likable Mescal and Edebiri.

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Other fans of Henry’s novels suggested People We Meet on Vacation, a friends-to-lovers story about Poppy, a travel writer, and her teacher bestie Alex, who agree to go on one final trip together before adulthood makes them too busy. This is a more fitting duo for Edebiri and Mescal: The chatty, overworked Poppy would be in line with Edebiri’s role as Sydney on The Bear, and we know Mescal can certainly play the calm, supportive best friend who has always harbored feelings for the coolest girl in his life.

We know Edebiri and Mescal would soar in People We Meet on Vacation. But they’ve already done these roles in their past work—which is why Beach Read would give them the opportunity to flex new acting muscles in the rom-com world.

Beach Read follows two authors, January and Gus, who start as foes but, after becoming next-door neighbors, place a wager on who can write the next big novel, helping each other out of writers’ block. January is a hopeless romantic and constantly writing rom-coms—a sweet, swoonworthy role for Edebiri, the “people’s princess”—whereas Gus prefers to pen mind-blowing, so-called “pretentious” novels about big national issues. Gus is uber cool and somewhat aloof, which would give Mescal the chance to flaunt some raw charisma and maybe—just maybe!—bring back that hot chain he wore in Normal People.

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There’s also the chance that Edebiri and Mescal haven’t actually signed onto a Henry adaptation and we’re all fools for guessing. Or, better yet, they could be doing multiple works together, a la Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The Nora Ephron Universe could find its 2020s child in the Emily Henry Universe, with Edebiri and Mescal as its protégés.

Leap Year, take a seat. The Irish are about to enter their rom-com renaissance.

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