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Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

‘Anyone But You’ is Leading the Rom-Com Renaissance

Glen+Powell+and+Sydney+Sweeney+star+as+Ben+and+Bea+in+this+rom-com+loosely+based+on+Shakespeares+Much+Ado+About+Nothing.
AP Newsroom
Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney star as Ben and Bea in this rom-com loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”

We all remember how movies started to suck or were exclusively sequels in the early 2000s. We got multiple “Cars” and “Toy Story’s.” We all remember the movies from our childhood and how spectacular they were. “Anyone But You” may not completely be changing the movie scene, but it is definitely bringing back old traditions. 

The official synopsis states: “Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) look like the perfect couple, but after an amazing first date something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice-cold – until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia. So they do what any two mature adults would do: pretend to be a couple.”

With tropes of second chance, enemies to lover and fake dating, this movie is set up for success, but the inspiration is mostly unknown.

“Anyone But You” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” to the shock of those who have watched the ads.

As an avid fan of 90s rom-coms like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “She’s the Man,” also both Shakespeare adaptations, finding that fact out sold me on wanting to see the movie.

And I was not disappointed.

I was worried it would not live up to my favorites, and while it could never top “10 Things I Hate About You,” it did rank higher than any recent rom-com.

There were some weird bits, like when their friends were trying to get them together and acting in a Shakespearean way, but honestly, every wacky thing added some personality – even if I wouldn’t have imagined putting it in there. 

It did have some of those classics from 90s movies that were modernized, but incredible. 

There was the advertised mention of “Titanic” on the boat where they did the classic pose and the wedding prep montage was very reminiscent of the same category from “Mamma Mia.”

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the screenwriter Ilana Wolpert mentions the intentionality of the homages and how she wrote it as an ode classic rom-coms such as “10 Things I Hate About You” and “She’s the Man,” as well as to honor Nora Ephron, the screenwriter of “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “When Harry Met Sally”

There was an epic scene of forgiveness, as well as classic rotating cinematography when the dynamic changed to friends.

Their tension was palpable, both as enemies and lovers, and the moment they both felt the switch from hate to love was specific and intentional. 

Following their ‘second’ break-up, there was a montage with so much attention to detail, my jaw was on the ground. It all referenced opening scenes when they hated each other, but switched their physicality and evoked that they were both crushed to lose the other. There were things Bea did the first time they met that Ben did the second time, and that combined with the montage brought the movie full-circle.

The acting throughout was incredible. Powell, while not my type, played a convincing male love interest and had an excellent performance. Sweeney’s performance was a little dull, but not bad. Having seen her acting skills in “Euphoria” leads me to believe this was a direction she was given. It was not her best work, but by no means bad.

Refocusing on the Shakespeare aspect, they kept the main character’s names, but used modern nicknames, as well as with the friends: Beatrice became Bea; Benedick became Ben; Claudio became Claudia; and Hero became Halle.

They did modernize it more than expected, by making the friends’ wedding be between two women, but they did so gracefully and tastefully. They included it, but didn’t focus on it in a way that took away from the plot or felt forced.

They also included quotes from “Much Ado About Nothing” on walls during transitions and in the vows. Additionally, right before the unusual post-credit scene – was actually pre-credit – “Much Ado About Nothing” was written in Hollywood sign style font on a wall during a transition.

I hope this trend reignites and we get more modern Shakespeare adaptations that create rom-coms the next generation can think of as fondly as ours thinks of those from the 90s.

About the Contributor
Julia Towell, A&E Editor
Julia is a senior and second-year journalism student. She is the A&E editor for The Claw and Tiger Times Online. Julia is an Aquarius who absolutely despises Matthew McConaughey. On Friday nights you won’t see her at a football game on her own free will, but you will catch her snuggled in bed with her cat, reading. Julia is actively involved in Drama Club and Bel Canto. Outside of school she loves to read, cuddle her wonderful little baby boy and gremlin cats, garden, sleep, and watch romcoms.