Friday, January 5, 2024

Anyone But You: Movie Review

It’s a beautiful movie to look at, but has lots of nagging distractions.
Anyone But You feels like it’s recreating the sensual romantic comedies that were once popular but for modern audiences. The film focuses on the gorgeous stars, the beautiful setting, the attractive stars, the delightful ensemble and did I mention how hot the leads are? This is very much a look at the very beautiful, very rich people on vacation type of movie.   2023

Directed by: Will Gluck

Screenplay by: Ilana Wolpert, Will Gluck

Starring: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell

I love romantic comedies, they are legitimately one of my favourite genres. I like Anyone But You, I do not love Anyone But You; it all feels a little excessive. The wealth on display is almost nauseating, but luckily the leads themselves don’t flaunt that lifestyle the way that some of the other characters do.

As literally described in the name of the genre, there are two pillars to a successful rom-com – romance and comedy. The romance is handled well, first by casting Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney two of the hottest stars on the planet (both appearance wise and popularity wise) and letting the two characters connect with each other while the audience meets them for the first time. The meet-cute is the first scene of the movie. Bea (Sydney Sweeney) is a law student who finds herself in a coffee shop and in need of using the bathroom; Ben (Glen Powell) is very amused watching Bea trying to litigate her way into using the bathroom without being a paying customer, but ultimately offers to help her out (because she’s unbelievably hot).

Over one day, Ben and Bea get to know each other well. Each dropping significant secrets because of how comfortable they are with each other. In the morning, Bea leaves to get coffee, Ben decides to trash talk her to his friend, each hiding how they actually feel so they can get on to the actual task of hating each other. The comedy perhaps not as seamless as the romance works its way into random scenes, the good ones all highlighting both Sweeney and Powell’s physical comedy abilities.

Halle, Bea’s sister, and Claudia, Ben’s family friend, are getting married with both Bea and Ben, now sworn enemies, in the wedding party. The two guys sitting next to me in the theater complained the entire time about how predictable it was. So, brace yourselves everybody because I know this might come as a shocker, but Bea and Ben don’t actually hate each other but really like each other and will probably be a real couple by the end of the movie. Just a piece of advice, if you hate romantic comedies, then maybe don’t go see this one because it is a romantic comedy.

There are a lot of little things that bother me in this movie; and we’ll start with the wealth. The wedding is a destination wedding in Australia, on the Sydney Harbour. The resort they are staying at appears to be a private resort owned by Claudia’s parents, and my god, how rich are they? I would have appreciated a sentence about how they got so rich and who grew up this wealthy and who didn’t because it’s distracting. The second issue is why do none of the girls wear bikinis that fit them? Bea wears two bikinis, neither of which fit her properly, and it’s distracting. Sydney Sweeney is hot and I promise you, she would be even hotter if she wore bikinis that fit her. Margaret’s is probably on purpose since she is topless at first and then put on the smallest bikini which presumably had to be specially made for the film since real ones wouldn’t get made like that. The rest of the fashion is stunning, and obviously the wealth is a necessity so they could get away with putting everybody in drop-dead gorgeous dresses.

And when you put those dresses with the Sydney Harbour at night in the background this really is a beautiful movie to look at. Sweeney and Powell have great chemistry and their physical comedy playing off of each other really helps keeping the film moving.