Who am I and why am I talking about this?

I’m Lucy and I’m a Film Studies and English: Writing major at Winona State University. This semester, I’ll be releasing content for my series “Helpful or Harmful? The Depiction of LGBTQIA+ People in Contemporary Film”. I will be critiquing the depiction of the LGBTQIA+ community in movies today as a member of the community myself. I hope you’ll stick around! I’ll be releasing new content every Friday alternating between written and video film reviews.


Anyone but You (directed by Will Gluck) follows two main characters, Bea (Sydney Sweeny) and Ben (Glen Powell). The movie begins showcasing their meet cute at a coffee shop and the magical date that followed. After a misunderstanding that resulted in the two of them cutting ties, they’re pushed back together by circumstance. Bea’s sister is marrying one of Ben’s close friends. Staying in the same house for the destination wedding, Bea and Ben, who are very bitter towards one another due to their miscommunication, are forced to co-exist. After a series of mishaps, the two decide to pretend they’re dating to get their friends and family off their backs. I think that Anyone but You is the modern day, swoony rom-com that audiences have been waiting for and here’s why. 


I had low expectations for Anyone but You. I’m a big fan of rom-coms, but it’s no secret to me that many of them leave something to be desired. The films can be funny, and they can portray an idyllic romance, but they often lack depth. I’m not saying that Anyone but You was full of depth, but it offered enough background on the main characters that I found myself invested. People say that this kind of a movie has been done over and over again, and this is true, but if you can approach the “enemies to lover” trope with a fresh take it has the potential to be successful. Personally, I’ve never seen a movie exactly like Anyone but You. I’ve seen movies where people pretend to be dating but Anyone but You took this trope and enhanced it by including complex characters, beautiful scenery, funny jokes, a genius soundtrack, and more.

The Cast & Humor in Anyone but You

I thought that Sydney Sweeny and Glen Powell had great chemistry. Bea and Ben were very fun characters to watch. They were both very funny in moments where it was expected but gave a more emotional performance at fitting times as well. The entire cast of this movie gave performances that were just enjoyable and compelling to watch. I watched this movie in an almost full theater and I can confirm that almost every joke landed. A problem with many rom-coms is that the humor often becomes dated but the 2024 humor in Anyone but You was relatable to the entire movie audience. There were a couple moments throughout the film where I found myself confused but all the loose ends were tied up at the end of the film. There was only one aspect of the film where I found myself wanting more explanation. There’s a character named Johnathan who is Bea’s ex-boyfriend and I wanted to see more of him. You hear a little bit about his backstory with Bea but Ben’s ex-girlfriend gets a lot more screen time. Johnathan was a purely likable character to me so I wanted to see more conversation between him and Bea, maybe so his character could have gotten closure as to why she had broken up with him. 

The Impact of Music

I can’t stress enough how great the soundtrack was for this movie. This really worked to elevate the emotion. The original score composed by Este Haim and Christopher Stracey was a brilliant mixture of familiar and timely pop beats as well as a beautiful and modern take on choral music that’s enough to give one goosebumps. I speak from personal experience. The soundtrack also incorporated songs by Remi Wolf, Dominic Fike, Troye Sivan, Declan McKenna, and Still Woozy (one of his songs had my name as the title, but I digress) to name a few. 

LGBTQIA+ Representation in Anyone but You

The cast was diverse, including LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC characters! The wedding that Bea and Ben attend is between Bea’s sister, Halle, and Ben’s roommate’s sister, Claudia. Claudia and Halle have the real idyllic relationship in this movie. They’re madly in love and it’s plain to see. I don’t recall in my life ever having seen a movie that included a wedding between two women before. It was a wonderful surprise (only a surprise due to heteronormativity of course). I found it inspiring to see such an idyllic love story between two women depicted on the big screen. This is the positive LGBTQIA+ representation we need more of in the media. Hopefully this acts as a reminder to the movie’s heterosexual audience that queer love doesn’t hurt anybody and that we just want to have the right to love who we love and marry who we want to marry.