Anyone But You is a romantic comedy directed by Will Gluck starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell as the lead pair. The glossy big-screen release aims to revive interest in the genre led by its good-looking young stars. However, does it manage to recapture the magic of classic romcoms? Let’s find out in this review.
Release Date: January 19, 2024
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Ilana Wolpert
Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Michelle Hurd, Rachel Griffiths
Runtime: 1h 56m
Sweeney plays Bea, a law student who hates cocky finance guy Ben (Powell) after a regrettable one-night stand. Months later, they reunite for their respective siblings’ wedding in Australia and pretend to be a couple to keep the peace. As you expect, sparks eventually fly between the combative pair.
The plot follows all the usual romcom beats – meet-cute, fake dating, big misunderstanding, eventual happy ending. There’s also references to Much Ado About Nothing with the lead duo behaving like sparring lovers Benedict and Beatrice.
Screenplay and Direction
Writer Ilana Wolpert sticks too closely to the generic romcom formula without bringing any novelty. The storyline feels convoluted to fit in Shakespearean quotes and the conflict between the leads is forced. The dialogues lack wit or memorability. While the fake dating premise is fun, tighter writing could have enhanced this.
Director Will Gluck also doesn’t elevate the material much. The pacing and visual direction are slick but the film lacks the heart or smarts of a classic romcom. More memorable direction and a fresher story would have helped immensely.
Verdict: Formulaic writing and direction
Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell look every inch the gorgeous movie star pairing. However, they surprisingly lack chemistry and their antagonistic exchanges feel flat rather than fun or sexy. When they eventually fall in love, it doesn’t feel earned.
Individually though, both Sweeney and Powell showcase their easy charm and comic skills. With better material, their potential as romcom leads could undoubtedly shine brighter.
Verdict: Lack chemistry but show promise
The supporting cast adds delightful flavor to the proceedings. Alexandra Shipp is vibrant as Bea’s sister while GaTa makes a promising acting debut. Michelle Hurd gets to shine as Ben’s overly critical mom and Rachel Griffiths is a hoot as the high-strung wedding planner.
Verdict: Supporting cast outshines leads
With its lavish visuals, gorgeous costumes and sun-lit cinematography, Anyone But You has polished production values. The locations in Sydney lend attractive backdrops. The soundtrack featuring Olivia Rodrigo’s original song is pleasant.
Verdict: Glossy production design
Anyone But You is an unremarkable and cliched paint-by-numbers romantic comedy. The storyline offers no fresh twist on the formula and the lead pair’s chemistry fails to ignite. However, Sweeney and Powell showcase enough appeal and potential to carry this otherwise average film through its breezy runtime. Fans of glossy Hollywood romcoms might find it moderately enjoyable. For others, it’s skippable.
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐2/5