Friday, April 12, 2024

Anything But This: Sony Spent a Fortune Promoting It, but “Anyone But You” Is a Christmas Turkey


If I were Glen Powell, I’d change managers.

The charming and good looking actor was on his way up after an impressive outing in “Top Gun Maverick.” He was already known as a rising star with a coming Richard Linklater movie, “Hit Man,” coming this winter.

On Powell’s resume was one cheesy romcom, called “Set it Up.” So why do another?

Yet, in “Anyone But You,” Powell took a big backward step and now he’s going to pay for it. “Anyone But You” opened to previews of $1.2 million last night. Sony spent a fortune promoting it, pushing a naked Powell and “Euphoria” star Sydney Sweeney like they were a 1930s screwball comedy pairing.

But the truth is, it’s more screw loose than screw ball. “Anyone But You” has a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes — and falling. The movie will wind up airplanes as a free entertainment choice pretty quickly. I look forward to watching it with the sound off by either the Grammys or Oscars week.

Sweeney is pretty much a PR construct anyway. But Powell had star potential coming into this mess. “Hit Man” may yet save him. But he will have to write this one off. And so will Sony.

I haven’t seen it, so I’ll leave the last word on this movie to Newsday’s Rafer Guzman: “’Anyone But You’ might pass muster as a pleasant holiday-season diversion, but it’s also a reminder that even the most dazzling smiles and perfect bodies can’t sustain a two-hour movie.”

See you on the plane! Pass the pretzels!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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