The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

Anyone But You: The “Feel Good” Film of 2023


After what feels like an eternity, the much awaited “feel good” rom-com has finally returned to the theater. Director Will Gluck, alongside co-writer Illana Wolpert, skillfully delivered exactly what all movie-watchers yearned for: a charming and witty romantic film, titled “Anyone But You”. The team strategically released the film in December 2023- a time where there were very few new films and people were craving a lighthearted film. 


As the year ends, people naturally seek heartwarming content, making it an ideal time for a romantic film. The festive atmosphere and collective sentiment of joy during December create the perfect environment for audiences to actively seek and appreciate love-themed films, enhancing the film’s appeal and drawing in a captivated audience. Additionally, a slim selection of films were in the market during their release date, which only added to the enticement of “Anyone but You”. 


Glen Powell, beginning his career with films such as 2003 “Spy Kids: Game Over”, has come a long way, obtaining impressive roles in 2022 “Top Gun: Maverick” and 2018 “Set it Up”. Similarly, Sydney Sweeney already garnered a substantial following thanks to her recent role in 2019 “Euphoria”, which impressed watchers with her raw and emotional teenage character. Her acting expertise was acknowledged in 2022 when she received an Emmy Award Nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” for her work in “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus”. The combined appeal of these renowned actors, coupled with an alluring story line, drew in a sizable and eager audience. 


Although it went mostly unnoticed, this film was actually inspired by Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, telling the story of Bea (an aspiring lawyer) and Ben (who is working in finance) who spend the night together, making grilled cheeses and sharing details of their lives which they are hesitant to share with even their closest friends. The next morning, Bea, suddenly panicked by the newness of the relationship, flees Ben’s apartment. After realizing her mistake, she returns to the apartment, only to overhear Ben telling his friend, Pete, of how Bea means virtually nothing to him. 


Ultimately, this results in hard feelings on both ends as Bea and Ben feel that the other did not value their connection and the vulnerability they both demonstrated in the night before. Yet, to their surprise, the two meet again when Bea’s sister, Halle, is engaged to Pete’s sister, Claudia, and Bea and Ben must overcome their differences as they are both invited to attend the wedding in Australia. In order to make Ben’s ex-girlfriend jealous and convince Bea’s family that she is over her ex-boyfriend, Ben and Bea pretend that they are together, which becomes increasingly less superficial as the two begin to reform their connection.  


Moreover, the film also revived Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”, which just like the film, has a light-hearted, fun feel, making it the perfect soundtrack for a rom-com. The song is played into the film as Ben (Glen Powell) becomes anxious on the plane to Australia, and Bea overhears the song playing in his headphones because it is, according to him, his ‘serenity song’. She later begins singing the song to Ben as the two are awaiting a helicopter rescue, and Bea uses the song to ease his anxiety — depicting her care and devotion to Ben. 


Another positive impact of the film was that it sparked the trend on the widely-used app TikTok. A great majority of the watchers created 15 second clips of them joyfully skipping to “Unwritten”, drawing more attention to the film and achieving a larger audience. This trend not only provides an enjoyable activity for friends to engage in after watching the film, but it also generates awareness. Many are drawn to see the film after watching these videos, witnessing the influence it has on people’s moods.


As a result of Powell and Sweeney’s chemistry on and off of the film, viewers speculate that the two actors have a connection that is beyond just their roles in the film, and that their connection has carried into their personal lives, though Sweeney is engaged to Jonathan Davino. This also allowed for more of a spotlight on not only the film itself but the two actor’s unwavering connection, even after the film’s release. 


Overall, this film has brought a fun storyline mixed with themes of Shakespeare’s canonical literature to theaters, and we can expect it to continue earning impressive applause and recognition as it fills a void of “feel good” films in the industry.   

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Libby Gaber
Libby Gaber, Arts and Entertainment Writer
Libby is a junior who is glad to be back writing for her second year in The Banner. Outside of writing, you can find her testing out new coffee shops, training service animals, exploring different hiking trails with her mom and dog, and excessively watching How I Met Your Mother. She also spends a lot of her time as a Harriton Service League officer, a yearbook editor, and treasurer for Ms. Jawork’s recycling club.
Grace Heller
Grace Heller, Arts and Entertainment Writer
Grace is a junior who is excited to write for the second year in the banner. Other than writing articles, you can find Grace watching Gilmore Girls, trying out new restaurants, spending time down the shore, playing golf, or listening to music. Other than The Banner, Grace rows for Harriton’s crew team, leads her freshman advisory, competes for FBLA, leads the global citizenship club and HSL’s Jared’s Box, and more! Grace looks forward to a great year with The Banner.

Comments (0)

All The Harriton Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *