Anyone but You (2023): A Rom-Com with Shakespearean Twists
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Anyone but You (2023): A Rom-Com with Shakespearean Twists

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Anyone but You, a romantic comedy film released in December 2023, takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” while offering a modern twist on the classic enemies-to-lovers trope.

Plot Summary:

Bea and Ben’s undeniable spark on their first date quickly fizzles into fiery arguments, leaving them sworn enemies. Fate, however, has other plans, throwing them together at a luxurious destination wedding in Australia. 

To avoid awkward encounters and social pressures, they devise a pact: pretend to be the perfect, loved-up couple. As they navigate the charade amidst stunning Australian scenery, their fake romance starts to feel all too real, forcing them to confront their true feelings and past misunderstandings.

Key Highlights:

  • Modern Shakespearean Adaptation: The film cleverly reinterprets the themes and characters of “Much Ado About Nothing” in a contemporary setting, with witty dialogue and mistaken identities adding humor and intrigue.
  • Rom-Com Charm: Anyone but You embraces the classic rom-com formula, packed with lighthearted situations, playful banter, and undeniable chemistry between the leads.
  • Stunning Australian Backdrop: The film beautifully showcases the picturesque landscapes of Australia, adding a touch of exoticism and adventure to the romantic storyline.
  • Talented Cast: Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell deliver charismatic performances as Bea and Ben, capturing the characters’ initial animosity and gradual emotional shift with nuance and humor.

Critical Reception:

Anyone But You received generally positive reviews, with praise for its charming leads, witty script, and beautiful setting. Some critics lauded the film’s fresh take on the Shakespearean source material, while others felt it adhered too closely to the original plot. Overall, the film was appreciated for its lighthearted entertainment and feel-good atmosphere.

Deeper Dive into the Plot

anyone but you

Clash of Personalities:

  • Bea, a Boston law student questioning her career path, is independent and outspoken, often clashing with Ben’s confident, yet emotionally guarded Wall Street persona.
  • Their initial date starts playfully but escalates into an argument due to differing views on life and relationships. Hurtful words are exchanged, leading to their icy standoff.

Unexpected Reunion:

  • Six months later, Bea’s sister gets engaged to Ben’s friend’s sister, forcing them to attend the destination wedding in Australia.
  • Sharing space and social events becomes unavoidable, reigniting their animosity amidst tropical vibes.

Fake Romance Pact:

  • To avoid drama and unwanted attention, Bea and Ben concoct a plan to pretend they’re happily in love.
  • This charade involves fabricated inside jokes, public displays of affection, and navigating awkward situations with wedding guests.

Unveiling Hidden Depths:

  • Spending time together under the pretense of their fake romance allows them to see each other beyond their initial impressions.
  • Bea discovers Ben’s vulnerability and hidden pain, while Ben admires Bea’s strong spirit and genuine nature.
  • Their forced proximity leads to emotional vulnerability and genuine connection, blurring the lines between pretend and reality.

Challenges and Complications:

  • The facade is threatened by misunderstandings, jealous exes (Jonathan and Margaret), and social pressures.
  • They navigate internal conflicts, questioning their true feelings and motivations behind the charade.
  • External factors like family dynamics and past hurts add layers of complexity to their evolving relationship.

Growth and Reconciliation:

  • Through shared experiences and honest conversations, Bea and Ben overcome their past baggage and communication barriers.
  • They learn to appreciate each other’s differences and find humor in their initial misconceptions.
  • The truth about their feelings is revealed, leading to a heartfelt reconciliation and a chance at genuine love.


  • Whether they choose to embrace their real connection or return to separate lives depends on the movie’s interpretation.
  • Some versions portray a happy ending with Bea and Ben acknowledging their love and starting a real relationship.
  • Others leave the ending open to audience interpretation, hinting at a potential future together but not explicitly confirming it.

Additional Notes:

  • The film enjoyed moderate box office success, grossing over $127 million worldwide.
  • An extended cut was released in February 2024, offering additional scenes and character development.
  • Anyone but You is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms.

I hope this summary provides a helpful overview of the 2023 film Anyone but You. If you have any specific questions or aspects you’d like me to explore further, feel free to ask!

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