Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence

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If there's one thing The Hunger Games and Twilight do not have in common, it's a bunch of broody teens with too many hormones who spend all their spare time smoochin'.

Of course Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have more important things to worry about than their love lives—ya know, like surviving, for one—but even the novel, in our opinion, played up the made-for-TV romance in that pivotal cave scene more than the big screen adaptation.

So did director Gary Ross intentionally tone down the lovey dovey biz?

As those of you who hit the theater at midnight last night know, the cave scene—while delivering on that much anticipated smooch between the couple now apparently dubbed Peetnis—is far less romantic that readers might have imagined.

Gary says he thinks the good stuff is still in there though.

"The cave is truncated to a certain degree but the book is also pretty clear that Katniss is in a place where you don't know if she's doing it for the cameras or doing it because she has actually feelings for Peeta," Gary explained to us when we asked if he'd intentionally toned it down to distance H.G. from those other teen romance sagas. "She's investigating the ambiguity of her own feelings at this point, so in that respect I think it's faithful."

He continued, "I don't think that within the tone of the movie it would have worked for these things to be gushy, but I also don't think that they really are in the book."

All we're saying is we'd have liked a kiss or two more, maybe. There was just so much hugging!

But Josh says there will be plenty more swoon-worthy moments in the next few films:

"I think that the romance, in my opinion, comes into play more in the second and third films," he weighed in. "It's definitely still in the movie and it plays a key part in getting to know Katniss more and getting to know Gale and Peeta as well."

READ: The Hunger Games Cast Talks Fan Backlash and Josh Hutcherson's Blond Hair: "I Was Definitely More Dumb!"

Josh—who told us he and Liam Hemsworth are "Team Haymitch" when it comes to the Peeta vs. Gale debate—also told us he thinks cutting down on the kiss cam action helped improve on his character:

"Part of it also was to make the character of Peeta more dynamic and interesting," Josh told us on playing the romance subtly. "I think that Gary, Suzanne [Collins] and I all believe that he needed to have a little bit more backbone, not quite as gushy, lovey dovey and whatnot."

Either way, we don't mind too much. We know there is plenty of wedding goodness (as well as some lip action in the woods) for the trio come the second film. But you tell us: Did the cave scene live up to your lofty expectations?

Photos The Hunger Games Premiere

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