Director: Will Gluck
Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown
Where: In Theatres near you
Rating: 2.5 stars
Anyone But You attempts to infuse a modern rom-com with the essence of William Shakespeare’s - Much Ado About Nothing, but unfortunately falls into the realm of mediocrity.
While the film borrows elements from the classic play, it struggles to translate the charm and wit of Shakespeare into a contemporary setting, resulting in a forgettable and formulaic romantic comedy.
The plot, seamlessly fitting into a modern urban backdrop, focuses on the romantic misadventures of finance executive Ben (Glen Powell) and law student Bea (Sydney Sweeney). The initial quirky setup offers some promise, but the execution lacks the freshness- needed to elevate the film above its genre peers. The lead pair's instant connection appears forced, and after spending a night together, what follows- is a predictable sequence of misunderstandings.
Six months later, fate brings them together when Bea’s sister Halle (Hadley Robinson) starts dating Claudia (Alexandra Shipp), the sister of Ben’s friend Pete (GaTa). The two are cold to each other, eachone blaming the other for their date ending poorly.
Matters get worse when the duo find they are forced to be together during Halle and Claudia’s destination wedding in Sydney. With Bea and Pete’s family in tow, along with Ben’s ex-girlfriend Margaret and Bea’s ex-fiancé Jonathan, who inevitably have been invited to the wedding, there is a chaotic jamboree where Ben and Bea must fake their relationship.
The plot is packed with cliches and familiar genre tropes like a glamourous wedding, a grand final gesture, a message of love, and the usage of the word “serendipity”. The narrative unfolds in a series of expected scenarios- chance encounters, misunderstandings, and obligatory romantic gestures.
“Situationally together,” “We are not together, we have been faking it the whole time," is how they describe their predicament.
Similarly, humour, a crucial element in any rom-com, often relies on standard comedic tropes, and some jokes tend to be crass and predictable. While there are a few genuinely funny moments, they are unfortunately overshadowed by the abundance of tired and overused gags.
The characters, while adequately portrayed, feel like familiar archetypes rather than fully fleshed-out individuals. The supporting cast includes – parents, the obligatory best friend, and exes, who add little to the overall depth of the story. Despite the cast’s efforts, the chemistry between Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell struggles to rise above the formulaic nature of the script.
Cinematographer Danny Ruhlmann’s visual aesthetics contribute little to the film’s overall impact. The city setting, especially the Sydney Opera House, while providing a trendy backdrop fails to add a distinctive flavour to the film. Also, the soundtrack lacks the charm needed to enhance the emotional beats of the narrative.
Overall, Anyone But You provides a few laughs and some mild entertainment, but lacks the depth to tug your heartstrings. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, predictable romance with a few chuckles, then this film might suffice.