'Anyone But You' review: Powell and Sweeney are charming (and hot) in harmless rom com
Courtesy of Sony
Sexy people doing sexy things while also looking sexy on camera seems to be the entire motivation behind Will Gluck’s attempt at reviving old-fashion studio romantic comedies in “Anyone But You.” Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” and finding stars Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney at their apex playing two people who, when the movie begins, can’t stand each other, but maybe (no spoilers here) might find a way to reconnect before the closing credits, “Anyone But You” is a harmless, affectionate affair that benefits from two gorgeous folks brimming with chemistry.
Does logic apply in a movie like this? Probably not, all that matters is the vibes and there’s plenty to go around. The movie begins with a prologue where we met Bea (Sweeney), a law student stumbling into a coffee store begging to use the bathroom though the barista says it’s for paying customers only. Thankfully Ben (Powell) is there to save the day, posing as her fake husband and being a knight in shining armor. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife as the two immediately hit it off and it’s obvious they should be together. After a cute evening of making grilled cheeses and falling asleep in each other’s arms, a misunderstanding ensues the next morning (classic Shakespeare) and the two are now sworn enemies. Who needs to talk about their issues and communicate feelings when you’ve got a romantic comedy in need of conflict!
Like clockwork, the two are brought together by a family wedding in Australia and they behave in the most obnoxious way imaginable. Like beyond the realm of what anyone would consider reasonable, but they drop some fun digs at the other’s expense and, again, they look hot doing it so what really matters? The respective families can see what’s brewing between Bea and Ben, and they decide to trick them into thinking they might still have feelings for each other. They know what they’re up to and decide to play along for the sake of keeping Bea’s overwhelming parents (played hilariously by Dermot Mulroney and Rachel Griffiths) off their backs. Oh, and both their exes just so happen to be at the wedding, so they can make them jealous too!
It's all pretty apparent that Gluck isn’t trying anything unpredictable here as the plot hits every narrative beat, you’d expect. And yet, “Anyone But You,” which continues to make the case Powell and Sweeney are leading actor material, is perfectly satisfied with being a generic and formulaic romantic comedy. Honestly, we could use more theatrical caliber comedies of this variety: one’s that understand their low stakes, play into the strengths of its charismatic leads, and, perhaps most importantly, remembers to have fun.
ANYONE BUT YOU is now playing in theaters.