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Anyone But You | La República EC

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Anyone But You | La República EC

Carlos José Jijón

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Recently I have become convinced that Hollywood is doing a terrible job meeting the needs of the public. Just look at franchises like John Wick. No matter how you look at them, they’re not very interesting movies. But since they are some of the only movies with decent action sequences on the market, the world treats them with almost religious reverence.

And I think the same thing happens with romantic comedies. About twenty years ago they were one of the star products of American cinema, but they have basically disappeared since Hollywood discovered that it could make ten times more money by making superhero movies over and over and over again. Now people who want to watch romantic and fun movies have to watch them on streamingwhich is simply not the same as going to the movies, and they are willing to support any product that remotely resembles Love, Actually. That’s the only explanation I can think of as to why I know so many people excited to see Anyone But Youa new romantic comedy whose main attraction is that It’s a romantic comedy.

I like these types of movies. They are a good alternative to romantic movies that are not comedies, such as Past Lives o Titanic, which are inevitably sad and leave me depressed for weeks. That’s why I went to see Anyone But You with the firm intention of enjoying it and being merciful with its faults, if there were any. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a mission I can fulfill. This movie is not very good.

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Anyone But You It’s a romantic movie about two people whose names I can’t remember. They are both extremely charismatic, successful and attractive and must pretend to be a couple for unlikely reasons.

Okey Okey. I’m being too mean. The protagonists are two people who dislike each other who, through a series of coincidences and misunderstandings, are forced to spend time together at a beach house in Australia. It’s not a very believable plot, but I think that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to accept considering romantic comedies never are.

Something I’m not so willing to accept is that the movie isn’t very funny. I don’t remember a single moment where I laughed and the funny situations our characters find themselves in are never memorable. At one point they accidentally set fire to a flower arrangement and at another they have to strip naked because they think they have a spider inside their swimsuits. Nice? Maybe. Unforgettable? Definitely not.

The entire film gives off an aura of not trying too hard, especially when it comes to the plot. Why are our protagonists fighting? “Because of a misunderstanding, why else?” the film responds. Where does the action occur? “In Australia, of course.” Couldn’t you think of a more exotic location? “No”. Why are they there at the same time? “By coincidence. Why do you demand so much of me?!” Everything from the performances to the music and cinematography are extremely bland and predictable.

Well, I say performances, but I’m excluding the two lead actors, who are actually trying hard. Glen Powell (who played the best character in Top Gun: Maverick) and Sydney Sweeney (who gave possibly the best performance of Euphoria) take their roles quite seriously. They are nice, likable and have a nice on-screen chemistry. When there are serious scenes, it’s even quite dramatic. And that’s what matters, right?

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That’s what I’d like to say, but it’s not enough to save the experience. Everything is painfully predictable. I can’t feel wrapped up in a tender romantic scene when I know that in two minutes our characters are going to have an illogical fight followed by an even more illogical reconciliation.
The lesson here is that making a good romantic comedy is not easy. It is not enough to be tender and deal with to be funny. You also need an exciting story, a good sense of humor and places more interesting than Australia. Having a good plot makes a big difference because, let’s face it, the mystery of how two incredibly attractive blonde people end up being together is not the most compelling of puzzles. (EITHER)

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