Rosaline ending explained – does Rosaline save Romeo and Juliet?

By Lori Meek
Published: October 16, 2022 (Last updated: January 30, 2024)

This article discusses the ending of the Hulu film Rosaline and will contain spoilers.

Rosaline is a comedic retelling of a classic Shakespearean love story, told from the perspective of Romeo’s ex. Directed by Karen Maine and loosely based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, the film stars Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable) in the titular role. 

At the start of the movie Romeo (Kyle Allen) is shown to be a frequent visitor to Rosaline’s balcony. The two lovers have to hide their romance from Rosaline’s dad (played brilliantly by Bradley Whitford) as she is a member of the Capulet family, while he is a Montague. However, the feud between their families is not the only thing causing a rift in their relationship. Rosaline is a bit too independent and ambitious, even for Romeo’s liking. She also can’t express her feelings, when he says “I love you,” she meets him with silence. To make matters worse, Rosaline’s father is desperate to marry the willful girl off, one suitor being Dario (Sean Teale), a young man Rosaline continuously rejects yet still asks for his help whenever she needs it. 

When Romeo meets Rosaline’s cousin, Juliet (Isabela Merced), the two fall madly in love. He completely forgets about our titular heroine and so the romantic story Shakespeare made famous begins. Rosaline, however, is not ready to let go of her first love, so she begins a ruthless campaign to sabotage the star-crossed lovers and convince Romeo that she, not Juliet, is his one true love. 

Rosaline ending explained

Rosaline spends most of the movie trying to get her ex, Romeo, back. Her attempts at keeping her cousin, Juliet, away from Romeo include taking her to a bar, convincing her that he’s a player, stealing her love letters, and getting a very gay Paris betrothed to her. 

By the end, Rosaline finally realizes that Romeo and Juliet are meant to be, so she tries to return the stolen letters. She gives them to Dave, the courier, who accidentally delivers them to Tybalt, which leads to a duel between him and Romeo resulting in his and Mercutio’s deaths. Feeling responsible, Rosaline asks Dario for help getting the two lovers safely out of Verona. Her brilliant plan is too late, as Juliet already ingested a poison meant to make her appear deceased. Rosaline only has a few seconds to express her frustration at the stupidity of Juliet’s plan before the poison takes hold. It doesn’t help that she’s found by Lord Capulet holding a seemingly lifeless Julies, which makes him think she’s somehow responsible. 

In a race against time, Rosaline tries to make it to the church before Romeo does something silly while thinking his lover is dead. Luckily, Dario made it there first, and both young lovers survive. When the two families arrive, Rosaline and Dario convince them that the two star-crossed lovers have committed double suicide. The guilt from having led their children to such an act finally ends the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Eventually, Romeo and Juliet sail off together to Cyprus in blissful awkwardness. As it turns out, apart from Shakespearean poetry and grand romantic gestures, they don’t have much to talk about with each other. Back in Verona, Rosaline and Dario share their first kiss, fully aware their roles in the story is likely to be forgotten. 

What did you think of the ending of the Hulu film Rosaline? Comment below.

Additional Reading

Endings Explained, Hulu, Movies, Movies - Ending Explained, Streaming Service