Anyone But You Film Review
What Katy RevIewed Next Ben and Bea have a wedding to attend. The problem? They can't stand each other. Can they sort out their differences or will the fact they can't stand each other ruin the wedding plans?
Anyone But You

Anyone But You

Anyone But You
Overview: Ben and Bea have a wedding to attend. The problem? They can't stand each other. Can they sort out their differences or will the fact they can't stand each other ruin the wedding plans?
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Comedy
UK Release Date: 26-12-2023
Studio: Australian Government, Fifty-Fifty Films, Olive Bridge Entertainment
Director:  Will Gluck
Top-Billed Cast: Glen Powell Sydney Sweeney Bryan Brown Michelle Hurd
Running Time: 1hr 43mins
UK Classification:
Classified 1515
Katy's Score:
61106  (Translation: Fair)
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Anyone But You is a film that feels like it’s been around forever – because it has. Released in December 2023 it’s still in select cinemas here in the UK but has now made it’s way onto Amazon Prime (affiliate link) so I thought I’d take a look.

I’d avoided the film for so long because all I saw was wall-to-wall advertising on YouTube and that always makes me feel that they’re worried about the film doing well because its…. a bit rubbish. So is that true in this case? Read on to find out!

What’s It About?

Anyone but you stars Glen Powell (Scream Queens, Top Gun: Maverick) as Ben and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, Madame Web) as Bea.

Bea is desperate to use a bathroom so heads to a local coffee shop where she’s told she can only use the restroom if she buys something. The queue is massive so in steps Ben, a handsome stranger who pretends that Bea is his wife (not creepy at all – why didn’t he just say she was a friend?) so she can use the toilet.

Cue a comedy scene where Bea looks like she’s wet herself and has to use a hand drier to sort her jeans out and that sets the tone for the rest of the movie – reasonably amusing but nothing groundbreakingly new.

Ben and Bea spend a night together where they get on like a house of fire, find out they have an affinity for grilled cheese sandwiches and seem to be a match made in heaven. That is until the morning arrives and for some inexplicable reason (and it is never explained) Bea decides to ghost Ben only to return to his apartment where the door has been handily left open so she can hear Ben declare to his best friend Peter (GaTa – Dave) that the whole night was a big mistake.

A couple of years has passed (I think, it’s only mentioned in passing) and Bea and Ben are thrust together again at the wedding of Bea’s sister Halle (Hadley Robinson – Little Women) to Peter’s sister, Claudia (Alexandra Shipp – X-Men: Apocalypse).

Halle and Claudia a determined to have the perfect wedding and feel that the tensions between Bea and Ben will ruin the mood. Instead of sitting them down and talking to them like adults, everyone attempts to convince Bea and Ben that they like each other so that they’ll get on with one another and maybe even fall in love (because a grown man and woman can’t have a platonic relationship, obviously).

Hijinks ensue as Bea and Ben knowingly go along with the plan and pretend to be falling in love with each other – what could possibly go wrong?!

The Good

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The chemistry between Powell and Sweeney really comes across on screen and the comedy capers they got up to were quite amusing.

And that was about it.

The Bad

There’s little character development apart from the exposition we get in the scene where Ben and Bea spend the evening together “I’m not sure I want to even be a lawyer… wow I’ve never told anyone that!” says Bea.

“You told her about your Mom? You never tell anyone about your Mom!” says Peter to Ben.

And that’s it. We know that Ben is an ab-covered stock bro who doesn’t talk about his mum, and Bea doesn’t think she wants to be a lawyer but she does take 2 sugars in her peppermint tea so that’s something I guess!

As such we don’t really get to have any emotional investment in these characters. It all happens so quickly there’s no “will they, won’t they” tension, and even if there was we probably wouldn’t care.

And that’s the issue with the entire movie unfortunately.

We just don’t care.

Halle and Claudia? While it’s nice to have same-sex representation on screen we see them for what feels like around 5 minutes, we don’t know how they met, why they decided to get married in Australia (more on that in a moment) and whether they’re even a good fit for each other.

We then have the parents: Claudia’s are Carol (Michelle Hurd – Star Trek: Picard) and her step-father Roger (Bryan Brown – Cocktail) and they’re so unimportant we don’t know their surname or why they are together.

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While we’re on the subject of Roger and Carol: Dear Hollywood, please stop putting female actresses with men TWENTY YEARS THEIR SENIOR. It’s gross, it looks gross and it also makes the woman look like a gold digger.

Now, the reason why I think Bryan Brown was chosen for this role? He’s Australian. I’m pretty sure with the one of the production companies being listed on IMDB as “The Australian Government”, in order to get a tax break or funding, as well as employing an Australian crew they’d need Australian actors and would you let Mel Gibson on to the set of your film at the moment?

There’s also Bea’s parents played by Dermot Mulroney and Rachel Griffiths, an ex-boyfriend, an ex-girlfriend and a man so stereotypically Australian I would have thought it would have soured US-Australian relations for ever.

The Audacity

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever, One foot in sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never.”

Believe it or not, Anyone But You is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

How do I know that? The frequent Shakespeare quotes put up in random places on screen and the fact that the characters being called Bea (Beatrice) and Ben (Benedick) are whacking great big clues.

The thing is, Shakespeare was subtle. His wordplay and character’s quick wit make the play a delight whereas this script (written by Ilana Wolpert – High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and Will Gluck – Peter Rabbit – who also directed) is like being repeatedly hit over the head with one of those comedy squeaky mallets.

They could have just based the film on the Shakespeare play without shoving it in our face every 10 minutes, to me that’s just pretentious.

Final Thoughts

Anyone Bu You is the highest grossing live action Shakespeare adaptation if you don’t adjust Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet for inflation which seems crazy for a film with so many flaws.

So why is it doing so well?

I think it’s simple – we’re all tired. Tired of reboots, tired of sequels, tired of wall-to-wall superhero movies where you need to have watched 16 different series across 5 streaming services in order to understand the plot.

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We are all in the mood for something different – and Anyone But You provides that.

I can’t remember the last romantic comedy that was released but I can remember Aquaman 2, Blue Beetle and The Marvels.

Will we see more rom-coms? Probably yes based on the success of this film, it’s grossed almost $200 million on a $25 million budget.

Will they be any good? Probably no based on the script and direction in this film.

Maybe I’m being too harsh? Let me know in the comments below what you think of Anyone But You and whether you agree or disagree with me.

Watch On Amazon Prime (Affiliate Link)