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U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Midway will be taking a break over the summer
After reminiscing with fond memories, Class of 2024 graduates in Rockefeller Chapel

Despite social media buzz, ‘Anyone But You’ disappoints

Netflix’s “Anyone But You” starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney enticed viewers through social media buzz but lacked substance and authenticity in comparison to other rom-coms.

“10 Things I Hate About You” 

“13 Going On 30” 

“She’s The Man” 

These movies are the epitome of classic early 2000s rom-coms. The ones with the predictable plots and sarcastic banter that beg us to keep watching even though we all know how it ends. 

“Anyone But You” is the latest iteration of these classics, catered to a 2024 audience. Although it checked many of the boxes for a wonderfully corny rom-com — the witty dialogue, physical comedy and predictable plot — many aspects of the film fell short. 

Starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney, “Anyone But You” centers around Ben and Bea, a picture-perfect couple who, after a flawless first date, crash and burn only to reconnect at a destination wedding in Australia. To dupe Bea’s meddling parents and reunite Ben with his ex-girlfriend, Ben and Bea create the classic rom-com plan: fake dating. Predictably, the plan ends with a sweeping love confession outside the Sydney Opera House. 

From the very start, Ben’s mom’s death is set up as integral to his character. Despite this, after a couple of mentions plopped awkwardly into the movie, it’s never clarified how it fits into the resolution. Does Bea or her family make him feel safe and that’s why it was significant? Even after multiple re-watches, I’m still wondering. 

Ms. Sweeney’s stoic attitude and sarcastic, seemingly uninterested intonation are great for “Euphoria” but often felt out of place in the context of a bubbly rom-com. Her delivery of dialogue convinced the viewer of the “enemies” — as in “enemies-but-not-really” — but the “not-really” part felt lost. Additionally, the movie failed in the most important category of any romantic movie: making viewers believe its leads were in love. They had chemistry, sure, but genuine romance — I’m not so convinced. 

Aside from the main leads, no other characters had any value besides comedic relief, which often landed as the director’s fruitless attempts to appeal to younger generations. In the case of Pete, Ben’s best friend, and the parents of the wedding’s brides, their use of slang phrases came off as totally cringey and unnecessary. The characters’ personalities felt exaggerated and more like caricatures than real people. 

One high point of the movie, the very one that skyrocketed the film to fame on social media, was the musical thread of “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfeild. The catchy, nostalgic nature of the melody helped set a light tone and bring viewers back to the 2000s golden age of rom-coms.

With “Anyone But You” now on Netflix, it’s easier than ever to watch, but if you’re hoping for another “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,” prepare for slight disappointment.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Shirrell
Lucy Shirrell, Reporter
Lucy Shirrell is a member of the Class of 2027 and a reporter for the U-High Midway. She began reporting for the Midway in 2023-24, as a ninth grader. Lucy is also participates in many U-High clubs, along with singing in a choir.

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    Tova Ben-YosephJun 4, 2024 at 4:49 pm

    YES! So true! This was an amazing review. Go Lucy!!!