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Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

“Anyone But You” lacks both romance and comedy

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures
2023 rom-com “Anyone But You” is a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”.

Shakespeare has had countless movies based off of his work, such as the 1991 drama “My Own Private Idaho” based on the play “Henry VI” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You” based on “The Taming of the Shrew”. The 2023 romantic comedy “Anyone But You” continues on this tradition of modernizing and re-adapting the works of Shakespeare, as it is based on the classic “Much Ado About Nothing”.

The film follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) as they pretend to be a couple madly in love in order to keep up appearances at a mutual friend’s destination wedding.

Sweeney and Powells chemistry is just a degree above non-existent. Many of their scenes together feel forced and not at all what a viewer would want to see from the main couple in a romance movie. The film seems to think that just because both leads are attractive, they should therefore have great chemistry. Unfortunately, this attempt at a saucy love story between two of Hollywood’s hottest falls flat when it comes to “Anyone But You”.

Sweeney’s scenes are, at times, difficult to watch. She has shown she is more than a capable actor in her previous works, such as HBO’s “Euphoria” or Netflix’s “Everything Sucks!”, but the roles she played in those two works are admittedly, very different from the role of sassy and witty Bea. Perhaps Sweeney just isn’t cut out to be a romance star.

Powell, on the other hand, delivers the charm. While his chemistry with Sweeney is less than stellar, his scenes with other actors are quite enjoyable to watch. Powell’s past works are more in line with “Anyone But You”, which is why the film seems to be a breeze for him. He is able to play the charismatic leading man with ease, even when the rapport between him and his co-star is failing.

While the leads of the movie certainly try to deliver a halfway decent performance, the real stars of the film come from the supporting actors. Dermott Mulroney’s comedic addition to “Anyone But You” is a refreshing breath of air when Sweeney and Powell are suffocating viewers. Alexandria Shipp and Darren Barnett also are able to steal the spotlight from Sweeney and Powell with ease.

“Anyone But You” may be based on a Shakespeare work, but the writing is not a reflection of that. The film’s writing is some of the worst of the year, especially with the lines given to Sweeney. It is easy to bag on her performance, but with some of the lines she was given, it’s hard to imagine anyone delivering them convincingly. Most of the ‘jokes’ weren’t funny, and the moments that were seemingly supposed to elicit an emotional response from the viewer fell flat and felt hollow and forced, not like something that would naturally invoke an emotional and passionate response from someone.

The rom-com seems to be a dying breed, and with movies like “Anyone But You” being the supposed ‘come-backs’ for the genre, it’s not hard to see why. Rom-coms are not inherently bad, and films like “10 Things I Hate About You” or “When Harry Met Sally” (1989) are evidence of that. But the difference between those two films and “Anyone But You” is that the former had pairings that an audience could root for, and dialogue that was natural and didn’t feel romantic for the sake of romance. “Anyone But You” fell flat in both parts needed to be a success for the genre, both romance and comedy.

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About the Contributor
Taryn Atwater
Taryn Atwater, Staff Writer
Hi!! My name is Taryn Atwater. I am a staff writer for wired. I am currently a senior and this is my third year  in journalism. A fun fact about me is I have a cat named Giovanni. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected].
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