For the last ten years, the romantic comedy genre has been in the doldrums. After its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, the next five years took the traditional Hollywood genre to several of its lowest points. One of the legendary — and box office — stories starring Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant and even Tom Cruise, cinematic romance declined. In particular, because many of the films related to the subject seemed more interested in deconstructing — or destroying — romantic love than in praising it.
Much more so, when a collection of films of medium quality to downright mediocre came to swell the catalogs of streaming platforms. The growing number of productions that mocked or were reduced to caricatured clichés of the great classics, alienated their most loyal audience. Even more worrying, it turned romances into third-rate productions with no appeal to an older, more sophisticated audience.
Even the attempts of the singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who took charge of the production of several projects — such as Marry me and Lead weddings of Prime Video — had too much influence on the general disenchantment. Which led to several specialized publications, including Variety, if the genre was at its closest to being forgotten.
So, Anyone but you by Will Gluck was released and broke all the expectations around it. The story of Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea (Sydney Sweeney) debuted to a disappointing box office in its Christmas weekend 2023 release. But, thanks to TikTok and enthusiastic word of mouth, the film managed to rebound. It’s hard and have a second wind. So much so, to become an appreciable success and also demonstrate that the romantic comedy still enjoys a loyal audience, expectant of new releases. But much more than the great romances of the big screen, They remain essential to understanding the film industry today.
Tik Tok and a well-thought-out campaign with love at the center
Become one of the most profitable films of the year 2023, the big question is clear. What did it achieve, that this adaptation of Mmuch ado about nothing by William Shakespeare, will it attract the attention of the public? In reality, it was a fortunate combination of factors. But, specifically, the sense of opportunity Sony Pictures by creating a point of interest that would stand out from the rest of the Christmas releases.
Months before the film’s premiere, the leading couple hinted that they had as much good chemistry outside of fiction as they did inside. What it included were photographs in which they could be seen together in undoubtedly romantic situations. A relationship between the two was never confirmed, but the strategy was reminiscent of that used by many of the romantic films of the 1990s. For Something to remember Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks carried out a campaign in which they were seen joking, smiling and holding hands affectionately. This, despite the fact that by 1993, both were married and afterwards, there were no indications of a relationship between the two.
In 1990, Pretty Woman, used a similar strategy. Garry Marshall insisted at several promotional press conferences that Julia Roberts and Richard Gere had improvised several of their iconic lines. Which led lovers of the genre to debate whether the couple’s on-screen chemistry was something more. There was also no confirmation of the news, but, even so, it caused enough interest to become a central element in the success of the film.
In Anybody But You, the gossip about a relationship between the protagonists boosted the popularity of the feature film. So much so that each appearance of the actors was a form of indirect advertising. From laughter and statements about misunderstandings on set to images that showed them on apparent secret dates. The truth is that for the premiere of the film, There was enough interest to bring the public to theaters.
A memory of the great comedies of the romantic genre
But in essence, much of the success of Anyone but you, comes from paying sincere homage to the great romantic comedies. Beyond its contemporary feel, it is a story that celebrates love. It also does so with all the tropes that make the plot — familiar and without major surprises — endearing.
The success of the film showed that the romantic genre is still one of the public’s favorites. Which makes it a breath of fresh air amid disappointing proposals in recent years. An element that gives the film not only the relevance of an unexpected box office success,but also that it comes at a necessary time. One of his strongest points.