Anyone but You
by Ilana Wolpert and Will Gluck
It’s D for Dick, I’m afraid. Specifically, it was a close up of Beau’s (Joe Davidson) penis which gave me my first genuine (albeit startled) laugh of the movie.
Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) have a meet cute in a coffee shop and spend a lovely night together. The next day, Bea overhears Ben disparaging her to a friend and so the enemy part of the trope is set. Time passes until it turns out Bea’s sister is marrying Ben’s friend, so they all end up at a destination wedding in Australia. There they decide to go along with their relative’s attempts to get them together and they enter a fake relationship.
These are two of my favourite tropes so far: enemies to lovers AND a fake relationship. I should have loved this movie. Alas, dear reader, I did not. It was okay-ish.
The utterly wooden Sydney Sweeney stars as a hopelessly lost woman in her early 20s. She remains lost for much of the film and really the only thing she finds is love, which isn’t nothing, but she needs to take a serious look at her life and make some choices which will give her a sense of direction.
This lostness is only possible because of her privilege. Everyone in this movie is rich and if you are in an ‘eat the rich’ frame of mind, this movie will infuriate you. It is also an astonishingly White movie. While there are some people of colour, the best friend in particular plays such a caricature of a person.
Glen Powell as Ben is a blessing to this film. He plays the snarky but big-hearted finance bro to perfection. While there are running jokes in the film about his age (he’s 35), he is undoubtedly the mature one in this set up. This is the second romantic comedy I’ve seen him in and he’s blessed with a sincerity that cuts through any treacly sweetness.
This is a retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with quotes that I’m assuming must be from the play showing up as graffiti on a wall or ‘spontaneously’ voiced by the characters. The movie was interesting enough to keep me entertained so that I didn’t get my phone out and google the quotes in the movie theatre. And of course, I didn’t write them down, so I can’t be sure. But the difference between the rather stilted dialogue and the highbrow Shakespeare was very evident.
The film gets much of its laughs through physical comedy. For example, there is the old favourite of the bathroom sink splashing water on someone’s crotch. Things of that ilk. For the most part the physical comedy was a damp squib.
Between Sydney Sweeney’s atrocious acting, the tired physical comedy and the sickly sweet plot, this movie did not delight me. But for a movie with very little in the way of skill, it has some charm (specifically Glen Powell) and I didn’t get up and leave the movie theatre (which I have been known to do) so it’s not all bad. If you’re able to find joy in something extremely sweet and as predictable as the most cliche-heavy Hallmark Christmas movies, then this rom-com might hit the spot.