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‘Anyone But You’ (Blu-ray review)

Sony

Sydney is clearly the star here- both the actress and the city.

Anyone but You is a lively rom-com directed by Will Gluck, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ilana Wolpert.

Treading much the same ground as Kiss Me Kate, (and the obscure stage play Much Ado About Nothing by some ancient British writer, Shake-somebody), it tells the story of beautiful people Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) who “meet cute”, click instantly, share an amazing date, but split acrimoniously after a huge if somewhat contrived  misunderstanding.

Some time later, they are unexpectedly reunited at a wedding in Australia- to avoid disrupting things, they must convince friends and family that they are a romantic couple, but a combination of emotional confusion, exes, outrageous accidents and even Australia’s wildlife conspire against them.

Can they find their own happy ending? Take a wild guess…

Other genres may come and go, but rom-coms and horror movies have always been perennially popular.

Sydney Sweeney (who also co-produced) seems to be flavour of the month at the moment, supposedly excellent in the just-released Immaculate, which I look forward to watching, and even mooted as the next Bond girl; I had never seen her in anything previously, but on the basis of Anyone But You, I can see why.

She and Powell share a snappy on-screen chemistry and the producers clearly relish the chance to show off their hotness in swimsuits at every possible opportunity.  The running gag about Powell being an “old man”- “nobody is twenty-nine!” – seems particularly crazy, but then again, in the world of the rom-com, everyone is insanely good looking as well as rich.

The rich ensemble cast, including Picard’s Michelle Hurd, genre veteran  Dermot Mulroney and the great Bryan Brown, are criminally underused but do their level best with crumbs from the comedy table.  As with any rom-com, characterisation means clumsy and there are some nice physical laughs on display- I did enjoy the cheeky visual “chapter headings”, (on paintings, writing in the sand, etc.), too.

The city of Sydney is shown off in all its cinematic glory- the aerial views at night are truly breathtaking, although as a visitor, I was relieved not to have seen it from a rescue helicopter- despite what you see in this movie, they are not a taxi service!

Despite the fact my parents’ first date was seeing House of Wax, (it explains a lot, right?), we will always need rom-coms and Anyone But You is a fine example. It won’t change your life and certainly bottles out of going full There’s Something About Mary, but all the classic elements and structure are there, it looks great and does what it does on the tin.

As our Antipodean cousins might say, “she’ll be right!”

 

 

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