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“Anyone But You”: A Love Story Like All Others

By: Lauren Johns

Movie Poster from IMDB

Rom-Coms are a heartwarming, goofy, entertaining waste of time. I’ve seen quite a few in my young life, including some Christmas ones that always seem to center around a normal girl falling in love with a prince, or a knight, or some pessimistic business man that no longer believes in love. 

This movie takes the cake, (literally and figuratively because of a scene where a dog ruins the cake), for being a Hallmark (Christmas) Film on steroids. You’ve got the usual tropes: guy meets girl, girl happens to be awkward and quirky, guy is a businessman with a sad past (his mom died, tough breakup). Then you’ve got the endless array of miscommunications between the characters that could’ve been resolved immediately if people would just talk to each other. It’s like Groundhog day for the unfortunate in love. Let’s not forget the most important trope of all, aka the main plot: the enemies to lovers and fake dating scheme. I will give the movie credit though, they didn’t rush too quickly over the enemy part. I’ve watched some films: not naming names (“Red, White and Royal Blue”), that had about 20 minutes of them hating each other and then the rest of the movie they were declaring their lifelong love. 

Regardless, the majority of the movie takes place in Sydney Australia, a definite redeeming factor because of the gorgeous scenery and cinematography. If this movie took place in New York or some small college town, I would’ve added another point on the scoreboard of common tropes. The two main love interests, Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) travel there to attend the wedding of Bea’s sister and Ben’s friends’ sister. We don’t see a lot of gay representation in Rom-Coms so that was nice to have, even though they were two-dimensional at best. Speaking of lack of character depth, Ben’s friend was a definite trope: a person of color who had no back story and acted as a built-in cheerleader for Ben. The friend Pete (played by GaTa), was the only character without any sort of romantic entanglement. And his dialogue was very hit or miss, you’d either laugh or cringe a bit. For example, he sees that Ben just made a grilled cheese sandwich and he responds, “you got the cheese and the bread, you didn’t miss a single ingredient.” Was this really necessary? 

Unrelated to tropes, the two main love interests had pretty good chemistry but the actors lacked emotional versatility, (maybe it was a director choice). Sydney played a very convincing victim in a pity party of one, but her character lacked the ability to express authentic happiness. Her dialogue always seemed overtly monotone and stilted. On the other hand, Glen’s character was the epitome of a golden retriever puppy with ample amounts of joy, but the sad scenes felt less than genuine. Despite this, they were still the kind of couple you could root for. 

All in all, if you choose to watch this movie, (I personally didn’t hate it), you choose to have a generically good time. While there were some unique and rather hilarious scenes: Pete speaking to a Koala Bear as though it were some respected elder, remaining oblivious to his otherwise chaotic surroundings and Bea trying to steal Ben’s cookie and discovering his “serenity song”; the plot line was extremely cookie-cutter and possibly written by AI. The dialogue is proof enough, the side characters may as well be NPC’s (non-playable characters). 

As far as ratings go, this gets 3 out of 5 stars for being an average film with a boring name. Here’s to another year of formulaic rom-coms. 

Harbor rescue scene from Mamamia Blog


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