February 23, 2024

Simple, sexy film that brings new life to the rom-com genre. Anyone But You Review

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Anatolii Mishustin in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rating: filled star filled star filled star filled star empty star

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Sydney Sweeney (L) and Glen Powell in Anyone But You

Picture courtesy: Sony Pictures

For me, it’s simple – I am a proud sucker for rom-coms. I take pleasure in what’s oversimplified, or overcomplicated, and how it is all executed. Even better, when a romantic comedy is mixed with a coming-of-age scenario or has a Shakespearian backbone.

That is why I’ve been quite enthusiastic about the new addition to that genre, Anyone But You, starring Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria), directed by Will Gluck.

A meet-cute in a mundane location, a bit of physical comedy, a one-night stay, a promise of so much more – in the first ten minutes we learn everything. Anyone But You does not pretend to be auteur cinema, or some “crème de la crème” production, but the important thing is that it delivers.

It fulfils the promise of a simple, unapologetic, grand rom-com we’ve been waiting for years now, bringing, hopefully, a new life to the genre.

There’s not much to say about the story – Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea (Sydney Sweeney) meet one day at a café. A romantic – but not physical – one night-stay results in Bea leaving, as she fears intimacy, only to walk on Ben when he is telling a friend how he cannot wait for her, Bea, to leave, as she is a mess.

Six months later Bea and Ben meet again at their friends’ wedding – ex-lovers, forced to spend a weekend together and attempt not to ruin the event.

The best part of the film is that there’s evident chemistry between the two co-stars.

Through their mannerism and acting it’s evident that Anyone But You strikes as a film the actors really enjoyed making – attractive and charismatic to a degree that it’s no surprise that the press speculated about their chemistry off-screen.

Yes, not every joke worked, and much of the filmmaking feels very commercial, but I turned a blind eye to it because Anyone But You delivers on the most important points of a rom-com: there’s an authentic romance, explosive chemistry, and comedy against the backdrop of stunning Australian locations.

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Anatolii Mishustin

Film critic

Kyiv, Ukraine | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hailing from Ukraine, Anatolii was born in 2006 and now resides in Amsterdam while getting his diploma. Moving to the Netherlands was a decision first and foremost motivated by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Anatolii keeps his hand on the pulse of modern media and underground culture, that’s what grows his interests and ambitions each day. He joined Harbingers’ Magazine in 2023 to challenge himself in this area to explore cultural journalism, and quickly established himself as the lead film critic for the magazine.

His work also secured him an invitation to the first edition of the Harbinger Fellow programme with the Oxford School for the Future of Journalism.

In his free time, he enjoys basketball, watching films, and playing video games.

Anatolii speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, and is learning Dutch.

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