Anyone but You’s real draw is the supporting cast

After slipping into theaters just before Christmas of 2023, the romantic comedy Anyone but You became a sleeper hit, lingering in theaters and racking up hundreds of millions at the box office, thanks to its sexy stars and flirty banter. Now that it’s on Netflix, it’s likely to find a whole new audience and start a whole new round of conversation about what makes rom-coms exciting these days. But the steamy scenes and its stars’ off-screen chemistry isn’t what really makes the movie enjoyable — the real draw is the stellar supporting cast.

Directed by Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits), Anyone but You is a (very) loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The movie centers around law student Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and finance bro Ben (Glen Powell), two stubborn people who had one very good date that blew apart, thanks to miscommunication. Now they hate each other! But they’re pulled back into the same web when Bea’s sister, Halle (Hadley Robinson), starts dating Ben’s childhood friend Claudia (Alexandra Shipp).

When Halle and Claudia get engaged and decide to have a destination wedding in Australia, Ben and Bea nearly ruin the opening wedding festivities with their bad attitudes. But when both their exes show up, they decide to pretend to be in a relationship so Ben can make his sexy Australian ex, Margaret (Charlee Fraser), jealous, and Bea can show her parents that she’s doing just fine without her childhood sweetheart, Jonathan (Darren Barnet). True to the rom-com formula, that fake relationship ends up digging up some real feelings.

But even though Ben and Bea are super hot and their whole fake-relationship situation is compelling, the best shenanigans come from the supporting cast.

The four parents of the brides in Anyone But You lean against a bar, judging Image: Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

Claudia, Halle, and Claudia’s brother, Pete (GaTa), are actually scheming to trick Ben and Bea into liking each other — which is about as far as the Much Ado adaptation goes. Claudia and Pete’s stepfather, Roger (Bryan Brown), is absolutely gung-ho for the idea as well. Cue some fabulously hilarious fake interactions where Pete and Roger stiltedly discuss how bad Bea has it for Ben, while pretending not to notice Ben obviously lurking in the corner. Pete and Roger have a generally hilarious dynamic, bouncing off each other with their over-the-top personalities.

Pete is particularly hilarious on his own, to the point where sometimes he eclipses Ben and Bea’s shenanigans. One of the movie’s early gags has the whole wedding party on a hike, where thanks to a convoluted situation involving a spider, Ben and Bea end up stripping. While that set-piece feels weirdly forced and contrived, Pete meanwhile spots a koala and shares a spiritual connection with it, captivating the rest of the wedding party. The juxtaposition of Ben and Bea freaking out over a large spider and the rest of the party having a trancelike encounter with a cute creature is amusing, but the latter is just funnier because it’s more unexpected.

A group on a hike in Australia. In the forefront, a Black man stars, transfixed, at a koala. Meanwhile a hunky blonde man wearing only briefs and a beautiful blonde woman stand with their arms akimbo in the background. Everyone else in the group gawks at them. Image: Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

One of the other standouts is Beau, an Australian surfer bro who speaks in a thick Crocodile Dundee-esque accent, played by Joe Davidson. He’s supposed to be Ben’s romantic rival when it comes to winning back Margaret, but he’s just such a gung-ho radiant ball of sunshine that I’m rooting for him over everyone else in this movie. You can barely understand what he’s saying, but he’s here to look pretty, offer positive vibes, and soak up the sun. He brightens up every scene he’s in.

The entirety of the supporting cast has interesting relationships with one another, and seeing them interact is one of the movie’s best parts. These are people who know each other, like each other, and have spent a great deal of time together, and from their easy banter and interactions, you can absolutely tell. They’re hilarious and dynamic, always stealing the attention away from Bea and Ben’s snippy sniping. So come to Anyone but You for a sexy rom-com and to see what the hype is about, but stay for the excellent ensemble in the background.

Anyone but You is streaming on Netflix now.