‘Anyone But You’: The number one film on Netflix US is the stupidest rom-com ever
(Credits: Sony Pictures)

Film Reviews

'Anyone But You': The number one film on Netflix US is the stupidest rom-com ever

One would think that casting two exceptionally good-looking human specimens would be enough to concoct the most sizzling chemistry on-screen. One would wish it were that simple. Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell’s latest film, Anyone But You, has taken Netflix by storm. If only it were actually any good.

The romantic comedy has soared to the number one spot on Netflix US and climbed to the second rank globally. This is thanks in part to the strategic marketing ploys of its stars. Sweeney and Powell stirred up interest (and controversy as it landed amid Powell’s real-life breakup) by leaning into dating rumours despite both being in committed relationships. However, it was only recently revealed that these rumours were fabricated for the sake of promotion. Despite the sketchy tactics, the film managed to attract enough curious viewers to become a box office as well as a streaming hit.

Directed by Will Gluck and co-written by Gluck and Ilana Wolpert, Anyone But You boasts an adequately star-studded cast. Sydney Sweeney leads as Bea, a law student at Boston University, opposite Glen Powell as Ben, a Goldman Sachs employee. Their chosen professions are irrelevant to the story—which there isn’t much of to begin with. The supporting cast includes Alexandra Shipp, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, Bryan Brown, and Rachel Griffiths.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the film follows Bea and Ben as they face a series of ludicrously stitched misunderstandings and mishaps on the road to romance. The plot kicks off when Bea and Ben meet at a coffee shop and share an instant connection. However, their budding relationship takes a rocky turn when Bea overhears Ben insulting her, leading her to leave without a word. This proves once again that no one can do the miscommunication trope as well as Arrested Development did and that they should give up trying at this point unless, of course, they can match the same level of chaotic energy.

The story takes another familiar turn as Bea and Ben cross paths once again, this time at a family wedding in Sydney. Forced to confront their unresolved feelings, the pair reluctantly agrees to pretend to be a couple to appease their meddling loved ones. Of course, that does not last long enough.

Despite the film’s star power and surprising success, Anyone But You is frustratingly stupid to its very core. The acting is as over the top and uneven as the plot, with Sweeney and Powell failing to generate any real chemistry on screen being its biggest downfall. Sometimes, it feels like the gorgeous and otherwise capable actors are in two entirely separate films.

The movie relies heavily on tired rom-com tropes, resulting in a predictable and formulaic story, which would have still been fine if there was any heart or sincerity to it. Bea might think calling something cringe is cringe and something only the elderly would do, but as an ageing Millennial, Anyone But You is just so cringe.

The film might offer a passably entertaining diversion to some, but it ultimately fails to deliver anything truly memorable or engaging. As the credits roll, viewers may find themselves wishing they had chosen to watch anything but Anyone But You.

You can still watch Anyone But You on Netflix, but don’t say that you weren’t warned. You can catch the trailer here first: