Is Netflix’s You Do You Based on a True Story?

Directed by Cemal Alpan, Netflix’s ‘You Do You’ (originally titled Merve Kült) is a Turkish romantic comedy movie that follows Merve, a young PR Manager enamored with fashion and the hippie life. Sadly, the bohemian lifestyle rejects her, and she faces eviction from her apartment when her bankrupt father sells the building. On the verge of being on the streets in an utterly broke state, Merve refuses to give up just yet and develops the idea for a new dating app to help save her and her family. Soon, she gets to pitch her idea to renowned startup investor Anil Gürman, who hires her to work in his company.

As Merve begins her new job, sparks fly between her and her dynamic young boss, causing an unexpected distraction in her original plan. Featuring stellar performances by talented actors like Ahsen Eroglu, Ozan Dolunay, Zuhal Olcay, Ferit Aktug, and Esra Akkaya, the comedy movie revolves around a relatable protagonist who fights against all odds to make it big in life. Naturally, the engaging narrative and lifelike characters make one wonder if ‘You Do You’ is rooted in reality. If you’re curious about the same, here’s what we found!

Is You Do You a True Story?

No, ‘You Do You’ is not based on a true story. It is an adaptation of  Turkish author Ceylan Naz Baycan’s 2019 novel, ‘Merve Kült: A Story of Fall and Rebirth,’ which became a bestseller upon its release. The book also revolves around 28-year-old Merve Kült, a PR Manager in a prominent fashion firm, who struggles to keep things afloat after facing eviction from her apartment. Hence, she creates a new dating app to solve her problems, only to clash with Anil Gürman, her new boss, who invests in her idea. As such, the Netflix movie stays true to its source material, and Ceylan Naz Baycan has accurately converted her novel into an engaging screenplay.

Interestingly, Merve’s character in Ceylan’s book became a cult icon in Turkey with her bright-colored clothes and accessories and her larger-than-life persona. Though fictional, the book and the character likely draw influences from the author’s life and observations of women around her. Merve is a young career-oriented woman, and it is not hard to find such ambitious ladies in reality. Besides, even her struggles are relatable, as home eviction and a problematic work environment are common grievances we hear daily.

Thus, Merve’s enthusiastic nature and never-give-up attitude inspire many, bringing the character and her story closer to reality. On the other hand, many movies and TV shows have also featured a similar protagonist over the years. One of the most recent and prominent examples has to be the comedy TV series ‘Emily in Paris,’ which follows Emily Cooper, who relocates to Paris from Chicago for her job, only to find an unimpressed boss and disapproving colleagues awaiting her. Nevertheless, she still uses her charm and resilience to win them over and ensure her career is not on the way to destruction.

Both Emily and Merve are bright-eyed fashion enthusiasts with bold dressing senses who take their new workplaces by storm with fresh ideas. And while both face difficult bosses, they eventually prove their potential and earn their respect. Given the optimism in Merve Kült’s journey, the character inspires many youngsters not to lose faith in themselves and work hard for their dreams, regardless of the challenges life throws their way. On top of it, the love-hate romance she experiences with her boss is another common trope explored in the media.

All in all, ‘You Do You’ may not be based on actual life or people, but it is an authentic adaptation of Ceylan Naz Baycan’s novel, which in turn is seemingly a realistic reflection of her observations of people and adult life. Eventually, it is a social satire on modern Turkish youth and the addiction to social media, which makes or breaks the person. Though fictional, the Netflix movie resembles and draws significantly from reality.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s You Do You Filmed?