Many, many months ago, back when they first announced that Anyone But You, starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney, would be a December release, counterprogramming against the big budget and/or prestige films at the multiplex during the holidays, it was thought to be the only romantic comedy of the season. But as it turns out, an unexpected rom-com took over our feeds. That would be Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, obviously, and we’ve alllll been tuning into that show. For the audience, then, it’s hard not to compare the performed but real life rom-com we’ve been watching and the performed and scripted rom-com that’s about to hit theatres.
We started the year with all kinds of Glen and Sydney intrigue. Did their onscreen chemistry spill over into their offscreen lives? Social media was obsessed, it was excellent pre-promotion for the movie, and then it kinda all went away, as Sydney’s engagement to Jonathan Davino remained intact. But now it’s time to really sell the movie ahead of its December 22 premiere and, conveniently, if Jonathan is around, he’s keeping a low profile. Also conveniently – Sydney does not seem to be wearing her engagement ring on that finger, not on the red carpet in New York last night and not for many of the joint interviews they’ve been doing around the city.
At one point they were photographed arm-in-arm as they made their way from one media stop to the next. They might not admit it but they’re totally leaning into the rumours. I mean even the social media for the movie is hinting at the speculation. Check out how this tweet is worded:
It definitely works for what the movie is about – two people faking a relationship, one of my favourite rom-com tropes, btw – but it also works with what people have been saying about them for months: is their chemistry just for the movie or are they f-cking in real life?
Sure, sure, sure… but do we care as much as we did before TNT?
I’m serious when I say that I think Taylor and Travis could have an effect on this movie. Especially for the target audience – that would be me, us, all of us who live for rom-coms. We are definitely thirsting for a rom-com, it’s just that … I’m not sure it’s Anyone But You. What we’re waiting on are Taylor and Travis crumbs: new photos, whether or not they go Instagram Official, what he’ll do for her birthday, what she’ll wear to his next game, what she’ll do the next time he scores a touchdown…
We’ve been watching this rom-com, episode by episode, for weeks. And I wonder if that’s taken away from the interest in Anyone But You because while I can’t say we’re sated on TNT quite yet (especially not with the new photos that were just posted, more on that in the next post), have they satisfied our romantic yearnings?
Well, the argument against that and the one in favour of Anyone But You would be that there’s no limit on romance. I’ll take as much of it as I can get – as evidenced by how many Chinese and Korean dramas I have in progress at any given time. But even at the multiplex, the big action explosion superhero movies try to avoid coming out on the same weekend. And so it may just be that Taylor and Travis have cut into a bit of the Anyone But You audience. Like I’m definitely going to see it, I just find that my focus on it isn’t as intense as it would have been if TNT hadn’t taken over our timelines this fall. (Doesn’t help that the trailers are NOT giving.) No matter how Anyone But You does at the box office, I think we can all agree that Taylor and Travis is the #1 rom-com of the year, right?