"Anyone But You" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Nowadays, good Rom-Coms are few and far between. Personally, I am a huge fan of this subgenre of film as you can simply have a good time with it. They're easy, they're fun, and for the most part, you know what to expect when watching them. I was honestly very excited for the new R-rated Rom-Com "Anyone But You", and I was hoping Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell will have fantastic chemistry that will rival those of past famous Rom-Coms. Thankfully, they didn't disappoint in the slightest, delivering a hilarious and cute film that has fantastic chemistry between our two main leads and hilarious performances from the other actors present here in the film.
This film serves as a modern telling of Shakespeare's classic play, "Much Ado About Nothing". It follows Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell), two strangers who meet at a coffee shop and end up spending the day and night together. Even though they had an amazing first date, it ended incredibly sour on both of their parts, forcing them to never see each other again and have that hate grow between them. When they are forced to reunite when Bea's sister Halle (Hadley Robinson) and Ben's best friend Claudia (Alexandra Shipp) are getting married, they are both not too excited.
Their trip to Australia is not a smooth one at the start, with both of them throwing insults to each other and causing mishaps at Claudia's step-dad's (Bryan Brown) huge house. When the group tries to get Ben and Bea together and they both have relationships they want to get in or avoid, they decide to fake a romantic relationship, making it better for everyone there, including them. However, when they start to spend more time with each other, do their true feelings mask their forced hate for one another?
The story has been done before numerous times, and as a viewer, you know what to expect as the movie plays along. However, what the filmmakers have to rely on is a beautiful chemistry between the two main stars and add in gags and jokes to make it unique. Consider when Sandra Bullock tried to bargain with an eagle after it has taken the family dog in the fantastic film, "The Proposal". Thankfully, director Will Gluck, who also wrote the screenplay with Ilana Wolpert, successfully combines two rising stars that are able to present that chemistry, humor, and charm throughout the entire film.
The two are electric from beginning to end. Both actors have emerged in recent years, with Sweeney reaching superstardom level with the hit HBO show "Euphoria" and Powell playing a slew of minor roles, his most prominent being last year in "Top Gun: Maverick". This film really allows them to both break out of those minor roles they have played and lets them lead the film, which they both do perfectly. They are hilarious, both by themselves and especially together. The main aspect you want for a couple in a Rom-Com is to believe these two people are in love, which they do perfectly. There are moments in this movie where you actually start to believe these characters are real and don't see the actors playing them.
What makes this even better are the minor characters, who are simply wonderful. We have the two brides here, who are great. Bea's parents (Dermot Mulroney, Rachel Griffiths) are adorably hilarious in a way that parents can be. Then we have Margaret (Charlee Fraser), who Ben is trying to win the heart of for most of the movie. She is lovable enough and good in the role, but she is outshined by her boyfriend Beau (Joe Davidson), who is absolutely hilarious in this movie. But the standouts here in terms of minor characters are Claudia's step-dad Roger and her brother, Pete (GaTa). Not only are they hilarious on their own, but my God, I don't think I have laughed this hard in a Rom-Com in a long time when they are together. There are two specific scenes they share together which had me and the whole audience roaring with laughter. I would easily pay to see a movie with just these two characters.
The movie moves at a very nice pace, and I really enjoy the way that Gluck throws in little titles for the parts of the story that progresses. He turns this into a unique story set-up, even if it does follow many of the same tropes that other Rom-Coms have. It's hard to have any unique moments and elements that other films of the same sub-genre have done, but it is obvious Gluck definitely tried here; because of that, this movie is so damn entertaining and fun.
This film does everything it needed to to be a hilarious and great Rom-Com. Gluck leads this impressive cast of actors which all work so well together. Powell and Sweeney are electrifying together, and they have both proven they are excellent leads in films and I really hope to see them in more lead roles in the future. Overall, this movie is just so much fun and so heartwarming that it is so hard not to like it. This is easily one of the best Rom-Coms of the past couple years, and I genuinely can't wait to watch this one again.