Review: Anyone But You

Title card fro the rom-comedy staring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures)

Anyone But You is the newest Shakespeare-inspired rom-com to hit theatres starring famous hot people such as Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. While not as consistently funny or abrasive as 2023’s No Hard Feelings, it’s as cute and corny as you’d expect and written with all the cheesiness of a Wattpad fanfiction. Despite a questionably unfunny opening 20 minutes, Anyone But You eventually falls into a comfortable and ever-charming flow state that renders it a breeze.

Sweeney and Powell maintain believable chemistry, which is especially fascinating considering Sweeney’s admittedly less-than-stellar performance. That said, no one is really going to watch Anyone But You for Oscar-worthy, deeply nuanced performances the people want to see hotties. Another issue in the film is that it does unfortunately seem to fall into the comic-relief-black-character trope. It is less uncomfortable here than it is in other works –it is a comedy after all, most of the characters are pretty funny – but just how they are written and portrayed leaves a bit of a sour taste in one’s mouth.

It really just goes to show how well good chemistry works, even if the characters are dropping jokes that aren’t particularly funny, the believability and charm of it all carries the interactions nonetheless. The film’s script is also incredibly playful. Of course, it doesn’t reach the level of sheer linguistic abuse that would make Shakes-shaft blush, but the way it uses and recontextualizes ongoing gags as well as the artificial, play-like aspects of the plot.

The story itself follows Bea and Ben, who, after a magical night together, run into sitcom-esque levels of miscommunication which renders them rather repulsed regarding each other’s company. Two years later they learn they must attend a wedding together, worrying that their tensions may derail the wedding entirely, the others attending hatch a scheme to get the two together, hilarity ensues. Plots on top of plots are formed and collapsed into each other as the situation grows more complicated.

One interesting thing about the film is its inclusion of male nudity, specifically man penis, and even more specifically, you get to see a urethra, which, considering how often these films forego male nudity entirely in favor of boobs is a welcomed addition, rendering this film’s boob to penis ratio a respectable 2:1.

Even though it would be fun to see a romcom end with the two characters merely asking each other out on a date instead of dramatically professing their love to each other, but alas what can one do.

All-in-all Anyone But You is a fun time, a cute little charming film, and it is just so supremely entertaining to watch a bunch of hot people just be hot, there are much worse ways to pass the hours, though, as my friend Catherine put it, one’s enjoyment may be tempered depending on how willing they are to witness the uncanny act that is two blonde people kissing.