' ' Cinema Romantico: Adventures in Movie Posters, part 281

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Adventures in Movie Posters, part 281

After “Freelance” (“barely a movie,” raves Brian Tallerico at RogerEbert.com), our next crack at the would-be rom com resurrection is “Anyone but You,” starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, and slated for a Christmas release. I believe that both Sweeney and Powell have the juice. In fact, Sweeney, by this blog’s estimation, gave one of the year’s best performances in “Reality.” I was excited to see “Anyone but You,” albeit in a wait-for-streaming sort of way...until I saw the poster. Whether it’s worse than the awful “Freelance” poster might well be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s bad. Don’t judge a movie by a poster, and all that, and I’m trying real hard not to, I swear, but also, man, it’s so, so easy. Look at this thing.

Let’s start at the top here and work our way down. Because the reversed names, as in the wrong name is above the wrong person, gets us off to a rocky start. I mean, it’s nice to see Sydney Sweeney come before Glen Powell, and I would like to believe that Powell, who from my perch thousands of miles away in flyover country seems like a decent fellow, encouraged it. And though I know names being reversed is a regular occurrence, typically tied to contract and marketing flapdoodle, the right hand not doing what the left hand is doing, and all that, it just looks so haphazard and unprofessional. I mean, these marketing geniuses will babble about the importance of first impressions all the livelong day, and then they turn around give me this crap? What’s a dumb blogger supposed to think?! Practice what you PowerPoint!

Given the bare feet and their wet clothes, Sweeney and Powell would seem to have just taken a dunk in Sydney Harbour. Yet, their hair remains conspicuously coiffed, photoshop mixing with marketing so that the feet, so to speak, don’t know what the hands are doing. Speaking of the hands, or more to the point, the arms, them being crossed would suggest the duo being comically at odds. But those facial expressions! What are those?! They’re not at odds! Powell’s expression seems to have been taken from some heartthrob promo photo, not an unexpected plunge into the water, while Sweeney’s appears to have been grabbed from some paparazzi photo of her waiting in line at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Why would you do your star like that?! Besides which, given the wet clothes and the champagne bottle beside them, isn’t the takeaway supposed to be wacky rom com? They don’t look romantically tipsy; they look like two disinterested brats with champagne problems. What in god’s name are we doing?!

As for the tagline...I mean, the tagline could have worked, if they looked like the perfect couple, which they don’t! Because of everything we just said! [Steams comes out of ears.]

Sigh. At least, though, we can all take refuge in the image of Sydney Harbour, or more specifically, the Sydney Opera House, the burgeoning cinematic Tour Eiffel of the capital of New South Wales. At least, that’s how I imagine it, seeing this poster, the Sydney Opera House viewable from every pier, every wharf, every dock, imagining a whole new movie shot for me to obsess over, the Over the Shoulder Eiffel Tower Shot transformed into the Under the Bare Feet Sydney Opera House shot, an image Quentin Tarantino could love. 

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