Anyone But You Director Responds To “Cringe Scenes” Criticism
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Anyone But You Director Responds To “Cringe Scenes” Criticism


  • Director Will Gluck explains the supposed “cringe scenes” in
    Anyone But You
  • According to Gluck, most of the allegedly cringe scenes from the film are the ones lifted from Shakespeare.
  • Despite mixed reviews,
    Anyone But You’
    s box office success proves the enduring interest in rom-com genre.



Will Gluck responds to the criticism of Anyone But You’s “cringe scenes.” Gluck is the director of Anyone But You, a 2023 romantic comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing. Featuring Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, and Alexandra Shipp, Anyone But You had a successful box office run during its time in theaters.

In a Letterboxd interview, Gluck speaks on some of the criticism that Anyone But You has received. Gluck addressed the common criticism that “there’re so many cringe scenes” in the romantic comedy. When the director questions audiences about what scenes they found cringe, it is typically those that Gluck says “are taken directly from William Shakespeare.” Gluck went on to explain how Anyone But You operates in conversation with Much Ado About Nothing. Check out the full quote from Gluck below:

Well, this one was more Shakespeare. It’s funny because even my favorite of all the Letterboxd reviews say, “Oh, there’re so many cringe scenes.” I say, “Well, which ones are cringe?” “Oh, the goofy part when the dad and the brother over-act loudly.” And then I just have to say, “That is directly from William Shakespeare.” All the cringe scenes in this movie are taken directly from William Shakespeare. The tropes that all the romantic comedies have now, he started it back in sixteen-whatever. That’s where they began. So, yes, you’ve seen it millions of times, but this was honoring the goofiness of that.

I also truly believe that, for some reason, when we watch movies, we expect the characters to be the smartest people in the world, [as if] it’s the first time they’ve ever been through this, the first time a guy’s ever liked a girl in the world and never does anything goofy and silly. And yet in the real world, every interaction I have, you have, is “I just cannot believe you’ve done that. It’s so goofy, it’s so silly, I feel like such an idiot.” So I try to walk the line between what would really happen—and it was even more goofy in Shakespeare, it was even crazier in the original play. So my conversation is more with the play, I’d say.

Anyone But You’s Reception Explained

Glen Powell as Ben on the Boat in Anyone But You

Though Anyone But You did well at the box office, its critical reception left much to be desired. Anyone But You received mixed reviews, holding a 55% score on Rotten Tomatoes. While the Rotten Tomatoes audience score was significantly higher, at an 87% approval rating, a number of audiences still found moments in the romantic comedy film to be cringe-worthy.

Anyone But You
made over $212 million at the worldwide box office.

That said, it is interesting to hear Gluck unpack these moments as misunderstood tropes within the rom-com genre. By Gluck’s telling, he wanted to be “honoring the goofiness” of seemingly trite tropes of romantic comedies that date back to the Shakespearean era. Whether Gluck and his team have done so successfully can still be the source of debate, but it is at least heartening to know how thoroughly intentioned Anyone But You was in its efforts to act in conversation with tropes.


Sydney Sweeney & Glen Powell’s Anyone But You Follow-Up Is Reviving A Forgotten ‘90s Rom-Com Trend

Anyone but You stars Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney are already looking for their next project together, which revives a great ’90s rom-com trend.

Even if some audiences found it cringe, one fact is undoubtable: the widespread interest in Anyone But You was there. As it competed against films like Wonka and Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom, Anyone But You’s box office success shows that there is indeed still interest in the romantic comedy genre. Even if the film plays into the tropes (and sometimes exaggeratedly so), its financial success shows that these Shakespearean-stemming tropes are oft-used for a reason.

Source: Letterboxd

Anyone But You Movie Poster

Anyone But You

Anyone But You is a romantic comedy by director Will Gluck starring Sydney Sweeny and Glen Powell. Sweeny and Powell star as Bea and Ben, two strangers with an incredible first date that goes sour following one incident at the tail end. Thinking the worst is behind them, the two are roped into a destination wedding in Sydney, Australia, where they’ll have to pretend to be a couple despite absolutely hating each other.

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