Anyone But You is the latest Will Gluck film to draw inspiration from a classic play or story and does so with hysteric success.
Like any romantic comedy, Anyone But You is not immune to the classic tropes. It’s what the film manages to do with it in which the film lives or dies on its own. If it’s a Will Gluck film, you can expect the filmmaker to find a way to bring Natasha Bedingfield into the picture. Gluck does so in such a classic way that the film manages to call back to the song during the sing-along credits. Imagine how much choreography and planning went into those takes during filming. The rest is still “Unwritten” and that’s perfectly okay.
When the two of them first meet at the coffee shop, one might think that Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) are already perfect together. Ben spots the damsel in distress and comes to her rescue by including her in the purchasing class so that she can use the restroom. Bea is in law school so she’s very familiar with bathroom law but screenwriters Ilana Wolpert and Will Gluck have some extra fun with the meet-cute. The duo have a great time getting to know each other on their first date.
Disaster looms when Bea wakes up, leaves, and then decides to come back, only to overhear Ben calling her a disaster. It should be the end of it, right? Nope. Six months later, Bea’s sister, Halle (Hadley Robinson), is engaged to Ben’s friend and Pete’s (GaTa) sister, Claudia (Alexandra Shipp). Bea and Ben show that not much has changed since their one night stand. They loathe each other so much but months later, they have no choice but to play nice at the destination wedding in Australia. If it’s a Will Gluck rom-com, you can expect a lot of fun, albeit sexy, gags. Such as on the plane, for starters. Gluck knows the genre and it’s a solid throwback to the 90s rom-com vehicles.
But can they play nice? This is the question of the hour. They do their best to fake a relationship for the sake of their friends and family. With their exes back in the picture, the charade can only go on for so long. Of course, it’s a rom-com and movie law dictates the ending. You know it and I know it. It’s just a question of how we get from A to B. There’s a funny Titanic easter egg in the film and of course, it goes dreadfully wrong. But hey, this is a comedy and the film has some fun with it! No, Ben does not paint Bea like one of Jack’s French girls. Anyway, the Sydney Opera House is a set piece in and of itself. The film is a love letter to Australia even as the two leading characters fight against their feelings for each other.
If you’re going into Anyone But You and expecting an Oscar winner, you might want to lower your expectations. An Oscar winner, this is not. The filmmakers offer their own riff on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and have a lot of fun in the process. After all, they’re filming on location in Australia so how could they not be having fun!
Sydney Sweeney executive produces the film and brought on Gluck as the director. Not just this but she also chose Powell to play the co-lead. Like other on-screen couples, it will be interesting to see if they star in future projects together. All in all: Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell fight against their feelings in Anyone But You but their chemistry is what helps make the film a lot of fun to watch.
DIRECTOR: Will Gluck
SCREENWRITERS: Ilana Wolpert and Will Gluck
CAST: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, and Rachel Griffiths