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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

‘Anyone But You’ Review

Photo Courtesy of IMDB.
Photo Courtesy of IMDB.

It is no secret that the romantic comedy film genre has been on a rapid decline in recent decades. While the movie category originally included cult classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s All That, today, cinematic releases of that caliber are few and far between. Although the movie had several highlights, Will Gluck’s Anyone But You is no exception to this creative drought. Here are a few reasons why this latest rom-com installment is a step in the right direction, but, ultimately, a far cry from the fan favorites of romcoms past.

Before bashing the 2023 film, I will, first, point out some of its positive elements.

The casting of the film’s main characters could not have been more spot-on. These up-and-coming Hollywood heartthrobs, Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeny, are exactly what the movie needed to gain watchers. (Plus, the actors’ public relations teams seemingly worked overtime staging their rumored adulterous off-screen romance, which most fans have rightfully deemed fraudulent anyway.)

Nevertheless, all of these elements kept the quirky chemistry between protagonists Bea and Ben fresh and fun. This was the best part of the film! The first fifteen minutes of the movie, which includes the organic meeting of the main characters, a playfully established romantic tone, and some unique camera shots, were most definitely the most gripping. 

However, the enjoyment of viewers quickly faded as they were unfortunately reminded that this rom-com was filmed in modern 2023 and not during the historical outburst of fluffy, feminine blockbusters (the turn of the 20th century.) 

Let me tell you why.

Anyone But You had everything it needed to easily be named a 2020s classic:; an attractive cast, a cheesy yet endearing plot, emotional backstories, and interesting supporting characters. However, the film simply could not pull off the once-mastered formula because of its uncomfortable flow, rushed sentimental moments, and cheap comedy.

The entire rhythm of the film was offbeat- but in a bad way. Maybe it was the awkward pacing of each scene or the out-of-pocket dialogue that lacked appropriate cadence, but something just felt … off. 

On top of this, the movie was missing meaningful character development. Whether it was the far-too-fast-moving camera shots during emotional moments or the incredibly surface-level script given to the actors, the audience did not care enough about the characters to rejoice when they finally got their happy ending. Because Sweeny and Powell did rather remarkable jobs with what they had to work with, these negative elements can only be blamed on the writers and director of the film. 

What was perhaps the most disappointing missing element of the movie was the comedy.

It was the Friday before Christmas, and I wanted nothing more than to indulge in some good, solid laughs with my friends who were finally home for break. Sadly, we ended up laughing more at the film instead of with it. This can be blamed on the movie’s cheap comedy containing painfully obvious, hit-you-over-the-head jokes and two unexpected scenes featuring explicit nudity. Hey, if you desperately want to make people roar with laughter but are fresh out of jokes, just flash a pair of a woman’s bare boobs! Extremely funny, right? Sorry, not so much.

If not for these slight but critical missing steps, the movie would have been taken from a decent tale to a spectacular watch. 

Compared to other recent attempts at the romantic comedy genre, Anyone But You had a pulse, but the heart of the film was regrettably missing.

Score: 6/10

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