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From Eye Candy to Mind Boggler: Unveiling the Puzzling Narrative of "Anyone but You

Anyone But You Movie Review

By Hridya SharmaPublished about a month ago 5 min read

The visual appeal of exotic locations and captivating yet stimulating romantic comedies has always been soaring for decades. The audience loves an escape from their mundane lives into a whirlwind of romance, with heartwarming plots and a sizzling chemistry. Anyone But You sets the bar high when it comes to a visually appealing storyline and the ensemble, yet falls flat with its plot, leaving the audience contemplating and uninterested as the story unfolds. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare is said to be the inspiration for the movie Anyone But You. That may or may not be the case, though, as Shakespeare's entire body of work has become imbued with archetypal meanings—just as every detective has some debt to Sherlock Holmes. Let's get straight to this rom-com and discuss the various nuances of this film

About the film

2023 will see the release of Anyone but You, an American romantic comedy film directed by Will Gluck and co-written by Ilana Wolpert. Based roughly on William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, it stars Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney. Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, Bryan Brown, and Rachel Griffiths are among the supporting cast members.

Plot of the movie

Bea, a law student at Boston University, meets Ben, who works for Goldman Sachs while trying to get a restroom key at a coffee shop. They have a strong connection and spend the day together, sleeping over at Ben's place. However, Bea overhears Ben insulting her to his friend the next morning. This hurts her deeply, and she decides to leave without confronting him. As she walks through Boston, she tries to gather her thoughts about him. After six months, Bea and Ben coincidentally meet again when Bea's sister, Halle, starts dating Pete's sister, Claudia.

They are cold towards each other, holding each other responsible for their previous bad date. Halle and Claudia get engaged and decide to have their wedding in Sydney. Bea, who has ended her engagement with Jonathan and left law school without telling anyone, is upset to find out that she will be sharing a flight and accommodation with Ben before Claudia and Pete's wedding in Australia. Their mutual dislike for each other becomes a problem for the other wedding guests, especially when their exes Jonathan and Margaret show up.

Bea's parents want her to make up with Jonathan, but the other guests at the wedding come up with a plan to get Bea and Ben together instead. Bea and Ben agree to pretend they are a couple to make Margaret jealous and stop her parents from pressuring her to reconcile with Jonathan. Early attempts to establish a romantic connection between Bea and Ben fail until they dance and have a conversation on a buoy in Sydney Harbour. Bea admits she dropped out of law school, and they make plans to visit the Sydney Opera House. After returning home and having sex, Bea casually mentions that her recent choices may have been wrong, which upsets Ben. He leaves early in the morning, leaving Bea feeling disheartened.

On the morning of the wedding, Margaret seeks Bea's approval to reconcile with Ben. Bea agrees, explaining that her relationship with Ben was only temporary. Ben unintentionally discloses to Bea's parents that she has dropped out of law school during a conversation with Pete, causing Bea to feel betrayed. Ben overhears an argument between Halle and Claudia, prompting him to persuade Bea to pretend to reconcile at the wedding. The ceremony goes well, but Bea is heartbroken when she sees Margaret kissing Ben at the reception. She leaves in tears and heads to the Opera House.

Ben realizes his feelings for Bea and rejects Margaret, admitting he was stuck on a memory. The wedding guests encourage him to chase after Bea, so he jumps into the ocean and convinces a rescue helicopter to take him to the Opera House. Ben apologizes to Bea for leaving her because he was afraid their relationship would end in regret. They make up and go back to the reception as a couple. Halle and Claudia admit that their argument was a plan to bring Ben and Bea back together. At the same time, Jonathan and Margaret start a romantic relationship. Let's dive deeper into the various nuances present in the film

The film serves a visually appealing charm with its ensemble but the plot feels saturated.

At first glance, the romantic comedy Anyone But You's existence and placement are encouraging from a strategic standpoint. It isn't going for the streaming scrapheap, but rather a bullish big-screen release, in contrast to the vast majority of recent films in the genre. Inspired by and impeded by Much Ado About Nothing, Sweeney's timid law student Bea spends a night with Powell's confident finance guy Ben in the movie.

The appeal of the main characters in the film is based on their looks, which is different from traditional romantic comedy leads who are typically more relatable. Past actors like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were attractive but not overly sexualized, unlike the current pair in the film. The main characters in the film lack relatability, as shown through failed attempts to make them relatable. While this lack of relatability is not necessarily a problem in the genre, there needs to be something deeper to make the audience care about the outcome of the story.

Although Powell is skilled, her performance lacks depth and only reaches a superficial level of competence. Sweeney appears awkward and lacks energy, which affects the pace of the material. Their dynamic is more like a playful couple teasing each other in public, and the lack of explanation for their initial distance is unsatisfying. The couple fails to convincingly portray any genuine animosity towards each other.

The presence of nostalgia gives some beautiful moments but does not provide for the lack of inventiveness.

Anyone But You has a comfortingly '20s vibe, even though romcoms are a very '90s genre. Talking into the night, meeting cute people, worrying that Mr Right might become Mr Wrong, and a glorious lack of social media are all present. Additionally, Anyone But You has a grand romantic gesture that makes it delightfully retro and evokes memories of bygone eras. The film has some heartwarming moments, but it lacks originality and freshness in its storyline. This lack of originality may be due to our obsession with nostalgia, as seen in the many reboots and sequels that are prevalent in the entertainment industry. Anyone But You, though set in the present, has a visual style that resembles a previous era. While the sleekness of the film is enjoyable, it fails to distract from the fact that it lacks the other qualities we expect from the romantic comedy genre.


Anyone But You is propelled by Sweeney and Powell's charisma, even though it is not particularly inventive. While some of the dialogue may seem contrived, it is a small concern compared to the overall enjoyment of the film. The inclusion of Shakespeare references may feel a bit unnatural. Despite not being revolutionary, "Anyone But You" is a good option for an enjoyable movie night.

_Hridya Sharma

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About the Creator

Hridya Sharma

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