ANYONE BUT YOU. Sweet Little Lies [REVIEW]

A fairytale for adults, which you didn’t know you needed.

Mary Kosiarz

8 March 2024

Exceptionally long we had to wait for the latest film by Will Gluck. TikTok has long since fallen in love with the song promoting “Anyone But You”, as well as, of course, with the two main actors, who have been doing downright brilliant marketing for many months. It’s delightful to see beautiful people at the peak of their careers, capable of giving their all on screen in both dramatic and serious roles, as well as in light and enjoyable roles of this kind. Going to the cinema, we immediately know what we’re dealing with – a simple, unpretentious comedy with thoroughly predictable plot resolutions and heavily punctuated humor. However, what distinguishes “Anyone But You” from many unsuccessful representatives of the genre in recent years is the fact that this time we sincerely want to follow the fate of the characters; laughing at situational jokes, we don’t feel like sinking into the ground, but rather enter this bubble of luxury, spiciness, and typical straightforwardness of this type of production with pure pleasure, which (if approached with the appropriate distance, of course) guarantees great fun.

A chance meeting in a cafe, almost knightly rescue from oppression, then passionate conversations, cooking together, and finally romantic falling asleep in each other’s arms. Sounds like a perfect start to a relationship? Not in the case of Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), as due to horribly senseless (and typical for romantic comedies) misunderstanding, the two lovers part ways in an unpleasant atmosphere for six months. However, fate once again crosses their paths when Bea’s sister and Ben’s friend announce that they will get married, and the whole ceremony will take place in Australia. Disgusted by the duty of being together again, Bea and Ben snipe at each other at every opportunity, trying to cover up their feelings with hatred, despite still feeling something for each other after months of separation. Nevertheless, still clinging stubbornly to the idea that they can’t stand each other, they decide that in order to annoy the demanding parents of the girl and provoke jealousy in Ben’s ex, throughout their stay in Sydney, they will pretend to be a couple. The famous enemies to lovers motif will sooner or later make the characters realize that if they could only talk sincerely together, most unpleasant situations could be avoided. Before they come to this conclusion, however, we have a whole comedic sequence ahead of us, in which Bea and Ben will awkwardly play the roles of puppy-love-struck teenagers, which will surely amuse even the most distant viewers.


Upon leaving the cinema, two conflicting versions of me fought: the one that found “Anyone But You” to be clichéd, predictable, and cringeworthy, and the one that bought into this film with all its exaggerated sweetness. Of course, as in most romantic comedies, we are aware of the exaggeration of some situations or characters (especially the supporting ones, who are only there to slightly hinder our main duo and ultimately realize that they are not really meant for them), which is why this non-committal attitude is the key to getting pure entertainment from watching “Anyone But You”. Sure, it’s clichéd and sometimes a bit awkward, but in all that cliché, it’s… exceptionally enjoyable. The biggest job is done here, of course, by Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, the perfect duo, excellently matched, whose chemistry and magnetism are an example of how to create romantic relationships in this type of comedies. Drawing inspiration from iconic representatives of the genre, “Anyone But You” is both as old as the hills and a new hope for romantic cinema, which in recent years has hardly provided us with any memorable stories.

“Anyone But You” is a fairytale for adults, which you didn’t know you needed. In contrast to delicate, charming comedies, here we have plenty of sexual tension, spiciness, and bold scenes, which pleasantly break up the somewhat prolonged and sometimes silly jokes. We won’t find any serious topics here, emphasizing certain social problems, but would such an addition really be necessary for the film? In my opinion, definitely not. We haven’t had a romantic comedy with such a blend of fantasy, comedy, sex appeal, and fairy-tale charm for a long time. Of course, it won’t do without painfully clichéd scenes, such as reenacting Rose and Jack from Titanic, bravely jumping into the water after a loved one, or the final, straight out of princess stories, love confession. But isn’t this exactly what fans of romantic comedies are eagerly looking for in new productions? “Anyone But You” is primarily meant to entertain, warm us from the inside, and provide plenty of positive energy, which it does 100%. It’s enjoyable to watch the way Sweeney and Powell play with their roles, almost stealing the whole show for themselves, and praise to them for that, because it’s possible that they will become (or maybe they already have?) another iconic screen couple thanks to this. Sparks fly between them from the first glance, and we don’t feel uncomfortable with them for a moment; we don’t need much to believe that they are meant for each other. These are the duos we’re looking for in romantic cinema; and it’s no wonder that this duo contributed to the gigantic online popularity of Gluck’s film.

You can defend yourself with hands and feet, but I bet that after watching “Anyone But You”, even if you don’t become a fan of romantic comedies, you’ll at least give this genre a second chance. Myself, just like with Bea and Ben, I have a love-hate relationship with it, but remembering films like “Anyone But You”, I believe that the era of intelligent and believable rom-coms is far from over. This sweetness, instead of nauseating, provides a full dose of charm and a pleasantly sugary aftertaste, and that’s what targeted viewers care about the most.

Mary Kosiarz

Mary Kosiarz

Far from keeping her feet firmly on the ground, she has sold her artistic soul to books and cinematography. Fascinated by Meryl Streep and an avid fan of unconventional film endings. In her free time, she educates about mental health and recommends her favorite books and screens.

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