Genre: Romance/Comedy
Director: Will Gluck
Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, Rachel Griffiths
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Rating: M18 (Some Homosexual Content and Nudity)
Released By: Sony Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 16 May 2024

Synopsis: In the edgy comedy Anyone But You, Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) look like the perfect couple, but after an amazing first date something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold - until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia. So they do what any two mature adults would do: pretend to be a couple.

Movie Review:

Blame Netflix for the swift but sure death of the rom-coms at the cinemas, but just as with every other Hollywood genre, you can be sure that there will be a filmmaker and a leading couple valiant enough to try every now and then to try to revive it. This time, that filmmaker is Will Gluck, who made a previous foray into the rom-com genre with ‘Friends with Benefits’, with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star Glen Powell and HBO’s ‘It’ girl Sydney Sweeney as the pair ready to put their on-screen chemistry on the line.

Going by how ‘Anyone But You’ has become a sleeper hit at the box office since its progressive roll-out a couple of months back, it should come as no surprise that the movie is a winner. Despite a five-month wait, it is absolutely well worth your while; and in fact, we’d go so far as to say that it is an instant classic, a perfect example of the fun, romance and even raunch that the genre used to be associated with, and a genuine crowd-pleaser that will cement Powell and Sweeney as Hollywood’s next big leading couple.

The first five minutes alone serve up a classic meet-cute at a café, where klutzy law student Bea (Sweeney) runs into charismatic Goldman Sachs professional Ben (Powell) in a desperate moment of needing to use a bathroom. A husband-and-wife pretend, a splash of water that might be mistaken for a pee stain and a walk in the park lead to a magical but chaste night together at Ben’s place, although the nascent couple is torn apart the next morning through a rather silly misunderstanding when Bea overhears an exchange Ben has with his best friend Pete (GaTa).

As far as formula goes, that is intended to set the stage for the would-be lovers to engage in a war of words and actions when they find themselves reunited six months later for Pete’s sister Claudia’s (Alexandra Shipp) destination wedding to Bea’s sister Halle (Hadley Robinson) in Australia. Never mind the contrivance; it is after all simply so that Ben and Bea can reconnect over a sun-kissed weekend in Sydney, in order that they may realise that they want to be with each other after all.

Gluck – who shares writing credits with Ilana Wolpert – throws in plenty of supporting acts to add verve to the ensuing proceedings. Bea’s meddling parents (Delmot Mulroney and Debra Griffiths) decide to invite her ex Jonathan (Darren Barnet) to the wedding, in the hopes that they will get back together. On the other hand, Claudia’s parents (Bryan Brown and Michelle Hurd) have invited Ben’s ex Margaret (Charlee Fraser) and her latest beau Hemsworth (Joe Davidson).

Among the hijinks that ensue include Pete and his father’s play-act to get Ben and Bea together, a hiking trip in which Ben frantically sheds all his clothes after finding a giant spider in his shorts, and a yacht ride along Sydney Harbour that sees the couple attempt to recreate ‘Titanic’ before falling into its waters. It is all in perfectly good nature, made all the more delightful by how Powell and Sweeney are game for anything, including and perhaps the one involving the emergency stripping that is designed to showcase their respective hotness.

The conviction that Powell and Sweeney displays not only applies to the laughs, but also their characters’ dilemmas, which makes the denouement, while inevitable, nevertheless sweet and affecting. Indeed, though both Ben and Bea have to contend not just with their feelings for their ex-es, but also making a break from the familiar and comfortable to choose what feels rousing even if it means being in new territory. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that both eventually declare their love in a beautiful and well-telegraphed setting.

So even though it is straight out of formula, ‘Anyone But You’ employs all the familiar tricks of the rom-com genre wonderfully, and even manages a loose riff on Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in the process. This is a pure, unapologetic example of a Hollywood staple that made the careers of Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock before, and will now do for both Powell and Sweeney, whose chemistry is absolutely infectious. It’s been a while since we’ve had so much fun with a rom-com on the big screen, and we guarantee if you love a good rom-com, this one hits the spot beautifully.  

Movie Rating:

(As delightful and sweet as rom-coms come, 'Anyone But You' is a modern-day, classic example of the genre, thanks to witty set-ups, gorgeous scenery and a pair of absolutely infectious leads) 

Review by Gabriel Chong


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