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Anyone But You Review

by Daniel Reynolds
2.5 out of 5.0 stars

All of the actors in Anyone But You are beautiful. This is not a novel observation, given that it’s a Hollywood-produced romantic comedy, but it seems particularly noticeable in this case. For director Will Gluck, it also provides an easy advantage: he can position any combination of these actors in the frame, have them say whatever, and his film almost, sort of, kind of works.

Co-written with Ilana Wolpert, Anyone But You knowingly deploys the classic rom-com setup: two people, obviously right for each other, constantly finding themselves in the wrong. This time around, the people are Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea (Sydney Sweeney), whose meet-cute is fun and sexy enough to invite us into the rest of the film. Though immediately pushed apart, they find themselves at the same destination wedding in Australia thanks to mutual connections to the brides (Alexandra Shipp and Hadley Robinson). Of course, as is further dictated by the tenets of the rom-com, Ben and Bea must reluctantly come together to save face before friends and family for emotional reasons the film reveals in time (after further delay tactics). None of this is rocket science, and the actors are clearly on that same wavelength, playing their characters not as real people but as obvious devices in the standard rom-com plot. This works to a point (again, everyone is hot), but it does leave us with the sensation of wanting more from the film. As the song goes: is that all there is?

In their roles as apex hot people, it is fun to watch Powell and Sweeney try their hand at different types of comedy (screwball, slapstick, etc.) while playing off each other. Anyone But You looks and feels like a TV show, so the film really does rise and fall based on what they’re given to do in any given scene. If nothing else, their star power confirms we are watching a movie—albeit one trying a tad too hard to tell us so.

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