Review: ‘Anyone But You’ is a good time if you like hot people falling in love

Before I begin this review of Anyone But You, I must include the full disclosure that I am a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic by nature. There’s always a soft spot in my heart for romantic comedies. I’m not over the moon for all of them, but I tend to enjoy them a little more than the average person. I just want to fall in love over and over again, every day. Movies like Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Runaway Bride currently reside in my top 10 films of all time; films like Priscilla and Sanctuary (mainly because of the finale) consistently appear in my favorite films of the year. That said, I finally got around to watching the new rom-com from Sony Pictures, Anyone But You, starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell.

Anyone But You is super cheesy, corny, silly, and a bit ludicrous at times, yet I thoroughly enjoyed my viewing experience. The only thing that really made this film so much fun was that it knew exactly what it was and what it wasn’t; it didn’t take itself seriously at all, and any audiences that follow suit are bound to have a good time. 

Besides being a visual smorgasbord of sex appeal and hot bodies continually paraded before our eyes, the film also pokes fun at all the characters and points out how goofy it’s being. Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney, among others, are constantly either in a state of undress or look like they just stepped off the shoot of a Fabletics or Under Armour commercial. Anyone, critics and general audiences alike, who can take this film at face value will find that Anyone But You is nothing but a generally fun time at the cinema.

The story of Anyone But You

(Note: There are mild spoilers ahead for Anyone But You.)

The film’s opening scene shows us Bea (Sydney Sweeney) moving quickly across a city plaza in an almost sheer white shirt as she hurriedly trots across and into a coffee shop. As I said, this film and all its actors know precisely what they’re doing. Bea is in a hurry to use the restroom, and as she asks one of the disgruntled and unsympathetic baristas (Mia Artemis) about getting the bathroom key, she’s shot down with a, “It’s for customers only.” She offers to buy a loaf of bread sitting on a shelf, but then she’s directed to the checkout line, which is predictably about a mile long.

As Bea whimpers out more pleas to the woman who continues to ignore her while handing out caramel lattes, unsurprisingly, the tall and handsome Ben (Glen Powell), who is next in line, looks on in amusement. “Honey,” Ben breaks into Bea’s exchange with the server, “I’m about to order. You want your usual?” to which Bea looks over at him with a deer-in-the-headlights look of confusion. 

Ben continues to order for his “wife” as the flabbergasted Bea finally starts getting with the program and begins to play along. He pays, she gets the bathroom key and he holds her coat as she runs into the restroom. It’s a tale as old as time; a girl just needs to pee super bad but can’t; a guy swoops in and saves the day. After a series of bathroom shenanigans and despite both of them being dressed for work, Bea finally emerges, and the two decide to play hooky on whatever business meetings or appointments they had lined up that day and hang out. 

Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell in Anyone But You. Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney in Anyone But You. Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

A magical night that ends in heartbreak

All day long, they walk around, visit a park, chit chatting about themselves until they finally make their way back to Ben’s apartment, where they cook grilled cheeses with the loaf of bread from the coffee shop that morning. Although no sex takes place, they fall asleep fully clothed, on the couch in each other’s arms, because hot people don’t have sex after a great first date.

Flash forward to the next morning, and Bea wakes up with Ben still asleep behind her. She slides out from under his arm and tries to sneak out, but the creaking floorboards wake him because, apparently, he was so sound asleep that his arm being moved didn’t phase him. Bea is able to get her shoes on and slip away as he sits up on the couch, a confused look on his face as he wonders why Bea left without a word. 

As she’s walking down the street talking on the phone about how great Ben is to her sister, we cut back to Ben’s apartment as his best friend Pete (Gata) arrives and begins teasing him about being in love. After Bea talks on the phone a bit, she starts to ask herself why she took off so quickly that morning, so she heads back to see him. Ben gets defensive about Pete’s accusations of love and replies, “F*** that! I couldn’t get her out of here fast enough“, just as Bea walks up and overhears. She turns away, heartbroken. Insert eye-rolling emoji. 

Six months later, they bump into each other at a club. After exchanging bitter comments, they discover that Pete’s sister Claudia (Alexandra Shipp) and Bea’s sister Halle (Hadley Robinson) are getting married in Sydney, Australia. They’re going to be seeing a bit more of each other over the next few weeks. As was mentioned, some of the scenarios are downright silly and borderline ridiculous, but the movie understands this and simply asks that you play along as it sets things up. 

Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell in Anyone But You. Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell in Anyone But You. Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

Ben & Bea fake their relationship because of their exes and meddling families

Once in Sydney, Ben’s ex, Miranda (Nat Buchanan), pops up, with whom he wants to get back, while Bea is frustrated with her parents trying to set her up with an old family friend and her former flame, Jonathan (Darren Barnet). In an effort for this feuding pair to each get something they want, they decide to cooperate and put on the facade of being together. 

The most unlikely thing happens as they set out to feign interest in each other and convince everyone they’re in love. I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. But Anyone But You moves along at a nice clip and offers some quality laughs in somewhat new and creative ways as it tells us one of the most familiar stories ever to hit the film reel.

Most of this film’s romantic comedy story beats are as standard and predictable as they come. But the goofy humor is one of the key ingredients that kept this film afloat and made it a real delight to watch. When the film entered its third act and predictably turned towards the serious, focused on its love story, and subsequently took its foot off the gas pedal with the laughs, it hit the low point for my enjoyment. 

Anyone But You intentionally leans into the romance cliches 

The screenplay from Ilana Wolpert and Will Gluck (who also directs) follows all the silly cliches of films like The Proposal and basically every Matthew McConaughey film from the early 2000s, but it does so knowing exactly what it’s doing and leans into it all with a pure sense of lightheartedness. Some of the line deliveries, like when Powell’s character is trying to swim and is struggling, she playfully accuses him, “Oh my god, you’re hot girl fit“, to which he responds “I’m not hot girl fit!“, were tonally spot on. 

Speaking of the acting, while Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell are giving perfectly adequate performances for what the film requests of them, it’s asking little, and they’re effectively able to hit on exactly what Anyone But You needs. Frankly, this film not only doesn’t deserve much more but if they’d tried to deliver ultra-serious line readings of “I’ll affectionate the sh**out of you!“, this film wouldn’t have landed as solidly as it does. 

Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney in Anyone But You. Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

The usage of the 2004 song Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield was also a fun anecdote the film returns to continually throughout its runtime. Although the pace suffered a little into the finale, as I mentioned, when it tries a little too hard to sell us on the love, it also wisely keeps things moving and wraps up at just a little past the hour and forty-minute mark, so as not to overstay it’s welcome. In the end, a perfectly decent movie and enjoyable watch is available for anyone looking to have a date night or even just drool over some finely chiseled bodies and have a few laughs with this latest effort from Sydney Sweeney and company.

Final thoughts on Anyone But You

This is about as uncomplicated a viewing experience as they come. It’s an upper-tier romcom with a good dose of sex appeal thrown in for both the male and female audiences to get an eyeful with Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. If, perchance, you hate seeing hot people fall in love in amusing ways, well then, this film is made for Anyone But You.

Anyone But You is now in theaters.

Learn more about the film, including how to buy tickets, at the official Sony website for the title.

Is Natasha Bedingfield stuck in your head on repeat? Have you watched Anyone But You yet? What did you think? Connect with us on X @MoviesWeTexted to feel the rain on your skin.

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