April 22, 2024

ANYONE BUT YOU (2023) – Eye candy amidst familiar romantic-comedy territory


Rating: ⭐⭐

Like the horror slasher movies genre, romantic comedies are basically the same movie being remade endlessly following a path of set rules and story. Those of you hoping for something more profound in “Anyone But You” best do not get your hopes high. This is as cliche-ridden of a romantic comedy as it can get. But then hey, it’s the Valentine’s Day season and love is in the air, so leave any pretentious notions behind and just sit back, relax and just plunge in to the absurdity here.

One the plus side, the film’s two leads, Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell are perfectly cast as the impossibly attractive star-crossed lovers. They have screen presence and chemistry, providing the film with its best moments when they are both commanding the screen on their own. Unfortunately, they have to share precious screen time with a whole bunch of generic stereotypical characters. Let’s see, we have the lesbian lovers who are getting married. Check! Then there is the black best friend. Check. The mixed couples. Check. The annoying parents. Check. The ex-lovers. Check. The pet dog. Check. All of these characters (with the exception of the dog) come across as tiresome and predictably one-dimensional. Their over acting and cringe worthy attempts to be funny just become something for viewers to endure in between the Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell alone times. The other plus factor is that the film was shot on location in Sydney and this was taken advantage of as the urban and natural landscape were beautifully captured.

My feeling is that Anyone But You could have been far better had the film focus more on the main characters and better written supporting characters. Sydney Sweeney is one of my favorite actresses today and I feel she is wasted in this undemanding role. She can handle far more complex roles and deserves to have a better casting manager in helping her to get better parts. Her role in the first season of The White Lotus for example was classic. She is well matched with her co-star Glen Powell who has the looks and charms of a Hollywood leading man. Together they effortlessly provide the eye candy while rising above the occasion in their scenes together. I look forward to seeing them in the future in films that are less superficial and where they can unveil their potential beyond looking good.

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