A feuding couple are forced to come together and try to keep the peace at the wedding of their sister and friends.
When it comes to modern day filmmakers who impress their audience director Will Gluck’s name may not be one that springs straight to mind – but perhaps it should. Since making his filmmaking debut back in 2009 with the outrageously funny Fired Up Gluck has been one of those filmmakers that makes it awfully hard to pick exactly what kind of project he is going to work on next.
With comedy hits like Friends With Benefits and Easy A under his belt Gluck then surprised cinema lovers with a lacklustre remake of the hit musical Annie. Realistically that was probably a classic that should never have been remade but Gluck soon made up for that error of judgment but then delivering two films that instantly became family classics – Peter Rabbit and its sequel Peter Rabbit: The Runaway.
Now Gluck returns to his roots with a brand new romantic comedy – Anyone But You – which technically is a modern day telling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Plotwise everything kicks off after the ill-fated meeting between the successful Ben (Glen Powell – Top Gun: Maverick) and the confused about life Bea (Sydney Sweeney – Euphoria). They seem perfect for each other but things sour in the morning when Bea sneaks out and then hears an angry Ben venting his spleen to his best friend, Pete (GaTa – Dave).
Flashforward to a few years later and the pair are forced to spend time with each other at the wedding of Bea’s sister, Halle (Hadley Robinson – Little Women), and Pete’s sister, Claudia (Alexandra Shipp – Dark Phoenix), in Australia.
And is if seeing each other and having to deal with the chemistry and awkwardness that the encounter brings is not enough – there is added pressure as Ben has to deal with coming face-to-face with his ex-girlfriend Margaret (Charlee Fraser – Tom Ford: Boys & Girls).
Then just to turn the heat up a little more the parents of the brides, Leo (Dermot Mulroney – My Best Friend’s Wedding), Innie (Rachel Griffiths – Muriel’s Wedding), Roger (Bryan Brown – Cocktail) and Carol (Michelle Hurd – Star Trek: Picard), put so much pressure on them that Ben and Bea decided to fake a relationship just to get everything to settle down.
Anyone But You is far from the classic comedies that Will Gluck made early on his career but it is still a film that you will find that you will thoroughly enjoy by watching it. The key to making it work as a film is to get the audience to fall in love with Ben and Bea and that is exactly what the screenplay, which was co-written by first time feature writer Ilana Wolpert, does. Both characters are easily likable and even though we see the ‘bad side’ of what happens between them you can’t help but hope that things mend themselves.
The film is also made up of the kind of comedy that will appeal to most audience members. You will laugh throughout and in a surprise for a modern day romantic comedy the humour is not crass and instead borderlines on the more believable side of things. In a way that actually enhances the laughs and makes the film even more likable.
The cast also seem to lap up the opportunity to make this film enjoyable. There is genuine chemistry between Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, which just adds to the believability of the film, while it is obvious that screen legend Bryan Brown fully embraces the chance to do comedy for once. Sure a lot of the scenes that involve comedy for him seem a little cheesy but they are guaranteed to have the audience giggling as well.
Those that are willing to give Anyone But You a go will also be treated to some stunning cinematography by Danny Ruhlmann (The Raven) that makes the Australian beaches around Sydney a must visit on everybody’s trave lists. The setting of this film at times feels like it becomes another character and very much part of the plot
.Anyone But You is certainly not film of the year but it is a film that fans of romantic comedies are quickly going to warm to. The performances of Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell will have audiences warming to their characters very quickly in a story that is both humorous and believable.