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  • Writer's pictureRYAN RUANE

Anyone But You revitalizes genre

Graphic by Ryan Ruane

“Anyone But You", the R-rated romantic comedy starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, has dominated the box office since its release around Christmas in 2023. The rom-com follows Bea, played by Sweeney, and Ben, played by Powell, as they navigate their feelings after a romantic first date takes a wrong turn. Bea’s sister and Ben’s friend end up getting engaged and plan a destination wedding in Australia. Here, Bea and Ben pretend to get along, as they pose as a couple in hopes of not spoiling the wedding for everyone. The crazy week leads to a lot of tough decision-making for the fake couple and takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride around Australia. 

I am a firm believer that chemistry between two characters determines whether a movie is good or not, and “Anyone But You” is no different. I thought that Powell and Sweeney had amazing chemistry. From the beginning of the film, you can feel the spark between the two characters. There were the witty quips between Bea and Ben that formed the basis of the enemies-to-lovers trope, in what I think, is the best way possible. The miscommunication between the two and the fake relationship they portray follows typical rom-com tropes, but it was done exceptionally well. The director, Will Gluck, knew that the world needed a modernized rom com that could be talked about for ages. 

I was able to see this movie with a couple of my friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It was not too cringe-worthy and made us, as well as the theater, laugh a lot. The soundtrack is iconic, with Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 hit “Unwritten” being essential to the plot. Other songs featured include “The Spins” by Mac Miller and “Got Me Started” by Troye Sivan. I think that the use of these songs enhances the experience of watching the movie. It allowed me to associate the songs with well-directed scenes that I won’t forget, especially “Unwritten.” 

I think “Anyone But You” was a really good movie, but some things could have been better. For instance, the issues regarding Bea and Ben’s relationship start at the beginning of the movie. This felt a little forced since I didn’t really get a sense of what the plot was yet. Additionally, Sweeney’s acting in this film is not nearly her best work. The way she delivered her lines in several scenes made me feel like she wasn’t into the scene, disconnecting me from the film. These are not super deep criticisms that ruined my experience, but things that I noticed throughout the film. 

I recommend that everyone see “Anyone But You”. I think that the movie aligns well with Gen-Z humor but in a way that is enjoyable for multiple generations. At least for me, this movie gave me some hope for the future of romantic comedies. We haven’t had a good rom-com in quite some time, and I am glad that “Anyone But You” was able to break this curse. I believe that this movie’s success will lead to the revitalization of the romantic comedy genre, and boost the careers of upcoming stars.


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