‘Anyone But You’ makes a splash as romcoms return

Image: sonypictures.co.uk

The romcom has been making its star-studded return, and in the wake of films such as ‘The Perfect Find’, ‘Shotgun Wedding’, ‘Rye Lane’ and ‘The Lost City’ comes ‘Anyone But You’ (2023).

Based on the William Shakespeare play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, and starring Sydney Sweeney from ‘Euphoria’ and Glen Powell from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, hot off a steamy promotional tour, ‘Anyone But You’ gets the big screen treatment in an era where classic style romcoms tend to head straight to streaming.

While films like Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel’s ‘Shotgun Wedding’ and Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s ‘The Lost City’ blend romance and comedy with action and adventure, ‘Anyone But You’ is a little less fuss.

After their coffee shop meet-cute and solitary day of bliss turns sour, Sweeney’s Bea and Powell’s Ben are thrust together again as their friends and family come together for a destination wedding in Australia.

Somewhat ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ in the pair’s chemistry, the two trade barbed, sometimes flat, one-liners and set floral arrangements alight as their explosive relationship threatens to ruin Bea’s sister’s wedding to her perfectionist partner Claudia.

Progressive in its lesbian wedding, but still employing the black best friend as the thinly drawn comedic relief and heavy on the goofy Australian surfer stereotype, ‘Anyone But You’ takes a basic plot filled with misunderstandings, as well as utterly transparent and idiotic schemes, and bolsters the material with its busty and buff central stars.

If you plan to see the film for the eye candy, you won’t be disappointed, as a bikini or sexily clad Sweeney and a shirtless Powell swim, scheme, argue and risk death by shark in Sydney Harbour. Is it silly? Yes. Is it predictable? Thoroughly.

But it’s also making the kind of box office splash that may mark the big screen return of the cinematic romcom.

Surprisingly and in the wake of big budget, blink-and-you’ll-miss-an-Easter-egg Marvel movies, ‘Anyone But You’ feels escapist, low stakes and kind of fun.

Directed by Will Gluck (‘Friends with Benefits’, ‘Easy A’) and currently cleaning up at the box office, ‘Anyone But You’ is for fans of Sweeney, Powell and the genre.

– martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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