Anyone But You

When Anyone But You opened theatrically at Christmas, it seemed like a huge mistake. Rom-coms had fallen out of fashion, and there didn’t seem to be a way it could compete with major holiday releases like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Wonka, and The Color Purple. Something unexpected happened, though. The movie built strong word of mouth over the following weeks, propelling it to an impressive $88 million domestic gross. In other words, it became a true sleeper hit. The film’s new Blu-ray release is certain to keep that positive word of mouth going.

Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) have a requisite meet-cute in a café. Chemistry between them is apparent, and before long, they’re in the sack together. A misunderstanding causes Bea to believe Ben was merely using her, and vice versa. The two are reunited six months later at a destination wedding in Australia. Bea’s parents are trying to reunite her with her ex, and Ben wants to make his own ex jealous to potentially win her back. Citing mutual benefits, Bea suggests they pretend to be a couple, despite the animosity between them. Romantic mayhem ensues.

Universal

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is the inspiration for Anyone But You, although obviously one is an eternal classic of literature and the other is a lightweight – if wholly enjoyable – rom-com. The plot unfolds exactly as you would expect from a movie where two people bicker incessantly in an effort to avoid acknowledging an undeniable attraction. There are all kinds of loony scenes designed to show that dynamic, including a hiking trip that ends with Bea and Ben stripping to their underwear to make sure they haven’t been infested by spiders.

The endless cliches and contrivances work because Sweeney and Powell deliver the goods. Here are two of the most attractive people on the planet. Aside from looking great together, they have electricity. We really believe their characters want to start making out immediately, even when they’re at each other’s throats. Sometimes two actors are put together and magic happens. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Sweeney and Powell can be added to that list. The spark they create is so strong that it elevates the entire film, making the jokes funnier and the romantic angle more appealing.

Good old-fashioned chemistry should never be underestimated. Anyone But You is structured around the seductive chemistry between its leads. Almost every scene capitalizes on it. Director Will Gluck (Easy A) is smart enough to not let the formal plot intrude too much. He knows that his actors are the selling point. No, this is not the deepest rom-com ever made. It does, however, exactly what a good rom-com is meant to do – i.e. it gives us two appealing people we want to see fall in love. The film is immensely satisfying on that count.

Scroll down for a look at the Blu-ray extras:


out of four

Anyone But You is rated R for language throughout, sexual content, and brief graphic nudity. The running time is 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Blu-ray features:

As befitting a fun film, the supplementary material on the disc is also fun. Here’s a breakdown of what you get:

He Said She Said - A 4-minute feature with the cast members extolling each other’s virtues. The behind-the-scenes footage makes it clear that their claims of a joyous set are not mere PR. It looks like everyone is having a great time.

Everyone Down Under - The actors talk about what it was like to shoot in Australia and how much they love the country.

Outtakes & Bloopers - Rather than just being a pointless assemblage of screw-ups, you get to hear the actors talking about how frequently they broke takes from laughing.

Deleted Scenes - Admittedly, these three scenes, which only total 97 seconds, are completely inconsequential, but they’re still cool to see, especially a full-cast dance number.

ASMR Pickup Lines - Powell and Sweeney whisper increasingly filthy pickup lines into a microphone. Some of their suggestive come-ons are really funny.

Aussie Snacks - Co-stars Hadley Robinson and Alexandra Shipp sample popular Australian snack foods.

Picture and sound quality on the Blu-ray are excellent. A digital copy of the film is included in the pack.

Click here to purchase a copy on Amazon.


© 2024 Mike McGranaghan