Sydney Sweeney says rom-com “Anyone But You” is a “cool modern twist on Shakespeare”

Starring Sweeney and Glen Powell, the film was a box-office hit, earning more than $200 million globally.

Pop Culture & Art April 24, 2024

Anyone But You, the R-rated enemies-to-lovers rom-com starring “Euphoria's” Sydney Sweeney and “Top Gun: Maverick's” Glen Powell, is now available to stream on Netflix. 

Despite a quiet release in December, the film gained immense box-office success, for which several sources credit its savvy social media campaign. 

Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell) in "Anyone But You" (2023) (Courtesy: IMDb)

TikTok videos featuring the movie's end credits dance scene and rumors of an off-screen romance between Sweeney and Powell fueled interest, propelling the film to the top five at the US box office.

However, Sweeney suggests another secret weapon: William Shakespeare.

She spoke to the New York Times about her experience reading the script, “Ilana took such a cool, modern twist on Shakespeare, I felt like I was reading an early 2000s rom-com.”

The Sun reports that the film's plot is loosely based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, with the protagonists' names and witty banter mirroring the playwright’s classic characters.

The movie follows Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell) whose disastrous first date leads to an even more awkward encounter at a destination wedding in Australia. Forced to pretend to be a couple, sparks fly as they navigate meddling families and their respective exes.

Director Will Gluck, known for films like Easy A and Friends With Benefits, embraced the Shakespearean influence, adding subtle and not-so-subtle references throughout the movie.

One, identified by ScreenRant, involved Bea walks past a mural adorned with the “Romeo and Juliet” quote, “Here’s much to do with hate, but more to do with love.” The Sun also notes additional direct reference to “Much Ado About Nothing,” such as a sign with the play’s title that appears during the film’s famous ending, when Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” plays.

While a sequel hasn't been officially announced, Sweeney hinted at a possible reunion with Powell during a talk show appearance. The studio, however, might have other plans for the popular duo.

Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell) in "Anyone But You" (2023) (Courtesy: IMDb)

"I think maybe the healthiest opportunity is another original starring the two of them," Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman told the New York Times.

Whether we get an Anyone But You sequel or not, fans can look forward to seeing more of Hollywood's new favourite onscreen duo.


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