Is Anyone But You based on Much Ado About Nothing?

Is Anyone But You based on Much Ado About Nothing?

Anyone But You was a surprise success in 2023, but with it now streaming on Netflix, you may be wondering if it’s based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

During the height of the rom-com era, classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s the Man took a creative and modern spin on Shakespeare’s beloved plays. The Amanda Bynes movie tackled Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, while Heath Ledger’s film was inspired by Taming of the Shrew, and let’s not forget that Romeo and Juliet has been adapted into countless movies over the years.

Anyone But You joined the ranks of worthy rom-coms after its release last year. Syndey Sweeney starred as Bea alongside Glenn Powell as Ben, who find themselves pretending to be in a relationship to survive a wedding, their exes, and their families — but their past sparks begin to ignite again.

The question is, can Anyone But You can also be tagged as a Shakespeare-inspired movie.

Is Anyone But You based on Much Ado About Nothing?

Anyone But You is loosely based on references and characters in Much Ado About Nothing.

The Shakespeare play focuses on two different couples, but one of the main ones is Beatrice and Benedict. Both are led to believe the other is in love with them. As the play progresses and some turmoil occurs, the two are forced to realize their true love for each other.

Much Ado About Nothing is often regarded as one of the most famous enemies-to-lovers storylines. While Anyone But You is an original screenplay, there are clear ties to Shakespeare. Bea and Ben hate each other over an unfortunate misunderstanding after spending the night together.

But they’re forced to meet again when Bea’s sister is marrying one of Ben’s friends. Everyone is aware of their past and believes they’re secretly denying their feelings — so, they do what they can to try and get them together, even trying to spread rumors to both Bea and Ben. By the end of the movie, Bea and Ben do realize they are meant for each other.

Screenwriter Illan Wolpert told her alumni paper, “Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespearean piece, and I kept coming back to it at school, even throughout my studies in college. There is so much farce, great humor, and so many great characters. It’s about family and friendship, but also a battle of wits and genders. It’s really a wonderful play. I always felt it would make an amazing movie.”


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Some may notice that during a beach scene, there’s something written in the sand. It reads, “Bait the hook well; this fish will bite,” a line from the second act of the play. There’s also the added detail of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” played while Ben and Bea are under a sign saying “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Anyone But You is available on Netflix, and you can check out other movies to stream this month.

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