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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Anyone But You (MA) - 103 minutes

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing has been adapted into a modern fantasy rom com.

 

Law student Bea (Sydney Sweeney) meets Ben (Glen Powell) in unusual circumstances.

 

She ducks into a coffee shop for a call of nature, but the rules of that establishment are that you can’t use the bathroom unless you buy something.

 

Problem is that even when Bea says she will do just that the queue in front of the cashier is inordinately long and “when you gotta go, you gotta go”.

 

Fortunately, the guy at the front of line, Ben, recognises the awkward situation and is chivalrous.

 

That results in what amounts to a picture perfect first date from both Bea and Ben’s perspectives.

That is until Bea catches out Ben trash talking her to his roommate Pete (GaTa).

 

After that, not surprisingly, she doesn’t want anything to do with him.

 

But six months later, unexpectedly, they bump into each other again at a pub.

 

It is where Pete’s sister Claudia (Alexandra Shipp) introduces her new girlfriend Halle (Hadley Robinson).

 

Bea and Ben proceed to hurl insults at each other.

 

A further 18 months on and they come together again, this time in Sydney, where Claudia and Halle are about to get married.

 

The tension between them remains and keeping the peace will be no easy feat. Still, there’s no denying their fighting attraction (with the emphasis on “fighting”).

 

The situation is made more awkward because also attending is Ben’s former flame Margaret (Charlee Fraser) and Bea’s recent ex Jonathan (Darren Barnet).

 

Let’s just say there is much to work through and with parents meddling in their offsprings’ affairs of the heart nothing will come easily.

 

Anyone But You is cheesy fun. It is lighthearted and buoyant, with some smart one liners and sight gags.

It starts with a laugh and the smiles continue throughout.

 

In fact, I didn’t find it hard to buy into the manufactured narrative, thin that it is.

 

The story is by Ilana Wolpert, who wrote the screenplay with director Will Gluck (Friends with Benefits).

 

This is a film that will undoubtedly attract a certain demographic.

 

The bodies are hot and the locations are equally enticing. Visually then, there is much to get excited about.

 

There is no denying the chemistry between Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell.

 

Each of them also has no trouble inducing hilarity at their own character’s expense.

 

The movie plays up and cashes in on stereotypes. A case in point is Margaret’s meathead ocker boyfriend Beau (Joe Davidson).

 

Bryan Brown plays Claudia’s quintessential, laid back Aussie dad, while Rachel Griffiths is more of a well-meaning, but intrusive mum to Bea.

 

Sexy and edgy, Anyone But You leaves it all on the screen.

 

Nothing deep and meaningful here, just pretty looking lightweight fare. Put simply, giggle and pash on a Hollywood budget.

 

Rated MA, it scores a 7 out of 10.

 

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