Film: Anyone But You
Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Dermot Mulroney, Bryan Brown, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Charlee Fraser, Rachel Griffiths, Darren Barnet
Director: Will Gluck
Runtime: 103 min
Just when you thought the Hollywood brand of romantic comedies was going extinct, comes this fresh, fairly entertaining romcom that scores its hits mainly because of the stirring chemistry between its leads and some smart dialogue writing.
This one is neither a compelling love story nor a playful comedy. It’s a squabble-heavy romcom to put it precisely. The plot and situations here seem outlandish and there are quite a few characters to keep track of. Sydney Sweeney (lead actress and executive producer) and Glen Powell play Bea and Ben, who have a chance encounter at a cafe followed by an entire night of getting to know each other. Then she does the stealthy vanishing act (quite illogical) and when better sense prevails, comes back to apologise, she overhears him making insulting, dismissive comments about her to his friend Pete ( Ga Ta). Given the many preoccupations of this generation it’s probably reason enough for a misunderstanding that stretches all of two years.
This film as you might well have guessed, is a loose modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Ben is in finance and Bea is studying for her Law Degree and they don’t seem to know their minds or better still, appear to have egos the size of a mountain. So it will take the entire two-hour runtime to forgive the contretemps and whip up a romance caught between two exes and a wedding between Pete’s sister Claudia (Alexandra Shipp) and Bea’s sister Halle (Hadley Robinson). Things go awry, and, eventually, true love prevails as expected. Director Will Gluck and co-writer Ilana Wolpert, churn out the charm, wit, and abrasive romance with good help from star presence.
The plot line wasn’t in the least bit inventive even if the situations were. The storytelling is formulaic and predictable. The Soundtrack had peppy numbers especially Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 hit “Unwritten,” which the actors sing along with and the Cinematography and Editing lent the film a glossy look. Director Gluck gets creative in upping the visual eye candy and subverting the viewer`s expectations. Nudity, sight gags, stinging barbs, lovely Australian locations, attractive leads, and silly slapstick could get you in a pliable mood.
The comedic and romantic moments, subversions of well-worn tropes, balance out quite well here. Bookend scenes may throw in some unexpected pleasures though. This may be cheesy romcom territory, but it manages to tick all the boxes and be entertaining enough to warrant a visit to the theaters.