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What to Watch This Weekend – Anyone But You

Anyone But You is the comically romantic journey of Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea (Sydney Sweeney). After a passionate encounter, miscommunication and misunderstanding keep Bea and Ben apart. Each blames the other for stymying their romance, and stubbornly holds their ground. As fate would have it, each gets invited to the same wedding. In addition to that awkwardness, both Ben and Bea’s former flames are also in attendance. Ben and Bea therefore hatch a plan. They will put their differences aside and pretend to be together, all with the goal of making their exes jealous. As their plan rolls into motion, it causes more turmoil than they ever anticipated.

What works in Anyone But You are the hilarious performances powered by charisma and chemistry. The third, not-so-secret ingredient is creativity. Writer/director Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits) crafts his film by loosely adapting William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Gluck playfully updates the setting into the modern era, and sensibly modifies the main and supporting characters. The result is a film full of relatable situations and encounters branching off into silly and ridiculous outcomes. This tried-and-true formula for laughs proves wildly successful once again. Gluck’s script is sharp and witty, and the performers (particularly Powell and Sweeney) are up to the task of being difficult while still charming. The result is a comedic experience that will likely land with most audiences.

Individuals who are less familiar with Shakespeare’s style of humor, or less enamored with the rom-com genre, may not enjoy Anyone But You as much as others. Certain elements or moments may feel odd or strange without the context of the homage constantly at work in the background. Occasionally, Gluck incorporates some of the more absurd moments from Much Ado About Nothing into the proceedings, which may leave some to scratch their heads. Furthermore, Anyone But You might be seen as formulaic by some. This would be a very fair evaluation, but one must also consider that the source material essentially helped define the genre when it was written around 1598. That said, for those completely new to romantic comedies, Anyone But You may prove to be a rather entertaining entry point.

Anyone But You is an incredibly solid, humorous, and engaging comedy. It oozes style and sexiness at every turn, and the on-screen performances will make audiences believe that the players are having as much fun as viewers. A highly recommended ride for date night or when one wants a laugh.

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