Anyone But You: A Rom-Com Renaissance

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Photo by Mrt Zioko from Pexels
Photo by Mrt Zioko from Pexels

As an avid rom-com enjoyer, I have noticed a lull in the number of exciting movies in the genre since the golden age of romantic comedies in the early 2000s. Yet, Anyone But You has caused a renaissance in the romantic comedy community, and rightfully so.

The film, a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” follows Bea (played by Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (played by Glen Powell) through a fake dating, enemies-to-lovers-esque love story. After they immediately hit it off at the beginning of the movie, their short-lived connection takes a turn for the worse, leaving Ben and Bea feuding until they are reunited at Bea’s sister’s destination wedding in Australia. Upon learning that both of their exes will also be in attendance, the pair decide to pause their rivalry temporarily and pretend that they are together.

The movie did a fabulous job of keeping the audience’s attention through both hilarious comedic timing and the remarkable chemistry between Powell and Sweeney. Unlike many recent lackluster comedies, nothing about the jokes felt forced and I found myself captivated by the charm both leads brought to the screen.

While the film may feel cliche at times, Anyone But You did an excellent job of putting a unique twist on many popular tropes. It leans into the fact that it is not meant to be taken too seriously by poking fun at itself, allowing the audience to put themselves in a world where falling into the Sydney harbor is more of a romantic adventure and less of a shark-infested nightmare.

I particularly enjoyed the film’s nods at the source material with quotes from Shakespeare’s play hidden throughout many scenes, whether it be spray painted on a wall as the characters pass by or written in the sand during a beach montage.

One of the best parts of the movie was the Australian background in which everything takes place. From the Sydney Opera House to the stunning beaches and cliffsides, the film features beautiful Australian locations that elevate the experience of watching the rom-com. Rather than simply taking place in an extravagant city, Anyone But You takes advantage of the location by featuring exotic animals and having landmark monuments become central to the plot.

The closing montage is undoubtedly my favorite part of the film. By this point in the movie, the audience had joined together in humming and singing along to Ben’s “serenity song” which is none other than Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” The montage had everyone in the theater, all three times I had seen it, laughing audibly at characters throughout the movie singing along.

Anyone But You is definitely worth a watch for lovers of other Shakespeare-inspired rom-coms such as She’s The Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. While the film may not feature Oscar-worthy performances or be completely realistic, it easily accomplished its goal of transporting the audience out of the real world for an hour and 45 minutes and leaves them feeling uplifted and comforted, which to me feels like the mark of a great rom-com.

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