Anyone But You | Review by: Amanda Guarragi


There was a time when a good old-fashioned romantic comedy would come out in theatres, and word of mouth would spread. Rom-coms are known to be cheesy, with grand gestures, witty banter, and a declaration of love at the end. These conventions make up the genre. And sometimes, a textbook film with great chemistry will make audiences happy to watch a romantic comedy in theatres again. We saw that happen with Ticket to Paradise last year. In Anyone But You, director Will Gluck goes back to basics and constructs an early 2000s film based on a Shakespeare classic, Much Ado About Nothing. We meet Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) in a coffee shop and witness their fiery chemistry from the beginning. Unfortunately, after one great night, they somehow mess up the potential of a relationship, only to be linked a couple of years later through Ben’s best friend and Bea’s sister. The two of them are off to Sydney, Australia, for their wedding, only to be forced into proximity because of the wedding party.

After watching the trailers for this film, it’s safe to say that the movie does play out better. Usually, when it comes to comedies or romantic comedies, those who cut the trailers tend to put all the best jokes in to get audiences to watch in theatres. Fortunately for this film, there were plenty of funny moments throughout to highlight Sweeney’s physical comedy and Powell’s quick wit. Sweeney and Powell played to their strengths and even tapped into different sides of themselves that we haven’t seen on screen. Apart from both of them being incredibly attractive, it was their natural chemistry and banter that made this engaging and charming. In true Shakespearean fashion, the two of them forge a plan to make everyone staying in Sydney for the wedding weekend believe that they are dating. Bea’s ex-boyfriend is invited, and Ben’s former flame stays with them. To help Ben get his former flame back and have Bea dodge her ex-boyfriend, they help each other get what they want through jealousy and acceptance. The supporting cast worked well and showed their comedic talents alongside them. 

If you’ve watched She’s the Man or 10 Things I Hate About You, there are some Shakespeare quotes sprinkled throughout. In this film, the quotes are visibly placed around the location to show what will transpire in the next scene. Not only do they poke fun at the lyricism of Shakespeare by claiming they came up with certain lines on their own, but the supporting cast played into the “set-up” for Bea and Ben so well. The family members were all helping Ben and Bea realize that they should be together, and they would have loud conversations expressing how one felt about the other. Even though it is a modernized version of the Shakespeare play, co-writers Illana Wolpert and Will Gluck had fun incorporating stage moments for the screen. Ben’s best friend Pete (Gaga) and his father Roger (Bryan Brown) were the MVPs of the film because of their exaggerated storytelling trying to convince Ben to court Bea. Combining modern dialogue and the cheesiness of matchmaking made this romantic comedy charming. There are goofy moments, some questionable dialogue and a rocky beginning, but none of that matters because of the chemistry on screen. 

Anyone But You is a charming romantic comedy that makes Powell and Sweeney a lovely duo for the genre. Their chemistry alone is a return to form because that is what has been missing in these romantic films. Their budding relationship is believable and, more importantly, fun. The beauty of Much Ado About Nothing is that love is always present in everything around you. There’s fun in relationships, even though they can sometimes end. There are new ways for any form of love to develop, and that is explored in this film. To have a film place queer love at the centre and celebrates it so openly while the heterosexual couple is a mess made this refreshing as well. 2023 has been a year of change for the cinematic experience. The films that would do well at the box office have not been making similar numbers as five years ago, and original films have flourished. To see a romantic comedy being released at the end of a stellar year filled with so much variety goes back to basics and bask in the fun conventions while modernizing a Shakespeare play feels like the audience expectations have returned to normal.


Review by: Amanda Guarragi

#movies #films #moviereviews #filmreviews #1STReviews #SydneySweeny #GlenPowell #WillGluck #romanticcomedies #romcoms #sony

Popular Posts