"Anyone But You" (2023) Ending Explained: From Cliffhangers to Cliff Dives

In the heart of the 2023 romantic comedy, "Anyone But You," we find ourselves immersed in the intricacies of a fake romance that tugs at the strings of Ben (Glen Powell) and Bea's (Sydney Sweeney) lives. Director Will Gluck crafts a narrative that dances on the thin line between pretense and reality, setting the stage for a captivating storyline.

The tale kicks off with a seemingly chance encounter between Ben and Bea, their instant connection sparking a rollercoaster of events. However, a series of twists leads them to despise each other, adding a layer of complexity to their relationship. The narrative gains momentum as Bea's sister, Halle, prepares to marry Ben's friend, Claudia, thrusting them into the chaotic whirlwind of wedding preparations.

As the plot unfolds, Ben and Bea, initially entangled in a web of mutual disdain, find themselves compelled to fake a romantic connection.

Ben & Bea's Fake Romance

Ben and Bea embark on a unique journey, where the lines between a fake romance and reality become delightfully indistinct. The film unfolds as they navigate the complexities of convincing their circle that their connection is authentic, only for the façade to morph into genuine emotions over time.

Ben & Bea's Fake Romance - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The motive behind their theatrical romance is multifaceted. Bea seeks refuge from parental pressures, deploying the ruse to quell inquiries about her engagement with Jonathan. On the other hand, Ben, fueled by a desire to make his ex, Margaret, green with envy, dives headfirst into the charade. What starts as a calculated act soon takes unexpected turns, setting the stage for wild events that contribute to the film's daring R-rating.

Ben's Revelation About Bea

Ben's revelation about Bea's past casts a poignant shadow, exposing the delicate intricacies of their evolving relationship. After a night of shared intimacy and a subsequent clash, Ben confides in his best friend Pete, unraveling a secret that sends ripples through their connection.

Ben, Bea, Pete and friends in jungle - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The revelation unfolds after Ben and Bea, in a moment of vulnerability, clear the air about their tumultuous first date. Ben's candid admission to Pete unfolds as he vents about Bea dropping out of law school. In this vulnerable exchange, the layers of secrecy begin to peel away, shedding light on a pivotal moment that significantly impacts their dynamic.

The initial rift between Ben and Bea stems from misinterpretations and unspoken frustrations. Bea's abrupt departure the morning after their first date becomes a focal point, with Ben overheard telling Pete that she meant nothing to him. This deliberate lie, an attempt to save face, becomes a linchpin in their evolving relationship.

The subsequent revelation to Bea, wherein Ben admits his frustration over her morning departure, also adds another layer of complexity to their connection. The intricacies of their emotions come to a head after a rescue mission before the wedding, leading to another shared night. However, Bea's reflection on her life decisions, perceiving them all as mistakes, sparks a tumultuous turn in their relationship.

The mirroring of actions, as Ben sneakily exits, echoing Bea's earlier departure, becomes a catalyst for further conflict. Ben's decision to confide in Pete about Bea's secret amplifies the tension, leading to familial repercussions as Pete discloses the upset within the family due to Ben's absentminded actions.

When Fake Turns Real

The orchestrated facade, meticulously constructed to convince their inner circles, takes an unexpected turn. As the narrative unfolds, the once-fake feelings between Ben and Bea begin to organically blossom into something real. The night before the much-anticipated wedding becomes a pivotal moment.

Ben and Bea find themselves entangled in a passionate encounter, seemingly on the brink of acknowledging their true feelings. However, a morning spat fractures their connection. A poignant fight the following morning introduces a rift, leading Bea to abruptly exit the wedding reception upon witnessing Ben sharing a kiss with Margaret. The emotional turbulence sets the stage for a decisive chase, with Ben pursuing Bea to the iconic Sydney Opera House. In this moment of vulnerability, against the backdrop of people-watching, true feelings are laid bare.

Ben jumps into water to save Bea - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Ben passionately professes his love for Bea at the iconic Sydney Opera House, in a moment accentuated by the symbolic wedding cake mishap.  In a candid exchange with an EMS worker, Ben's inquiry about rescuing people on boats draws a witty response, highlighting the unique circumstances of his romantic pursuit. Undeterred, Ben seizes the opportunity to profess his love to Bea, culminating in a heartfelt kiss that solidifies their reunion.

Ben and Bae near Sydney Opera House - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The subsequent events, including Ben's daring cliff jump and heartfelt confession, underscore the movie's exploration of love transcending societal expectations. The film's climax delivers a heartfelt resolution as Ben expresses his genuine emotions, culminating in a sincere admission of love. The decision to chase after Bea and her instinct to leave the wedding become authentic signs of the profound connection they share. What began as a calculated ruse turns into a testament of real emotions, providing "Anyone But You" with a happy ending that resonates beyond the artificial constructs of romance.

Bea's revelation about breaking up with Jonathan due to a lack of conflict reflects the authenticity of emotions that develops with Ben. Their constant bickering evolves into a genuine care for each other, while Ben finds solace in Bea's acceptance, shattering the illusions of a mere romantic charade.

Shakespearean Threads: "Much Ado About Nothing"

The subtle but touching references to William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" weave a literary undertone, adding depth and nuance to the film's narrative.

Poster - Much Ado About Nothing 1993 - MGM
Image Credit: MGM

The recurring presence of "Much Ado About Nothing" in the movie is evident in cleverly placed quotes from the play, subtly etched into the backdrop of various scenes. A striking moment occurs when the title of the play is prominently displayed at the top of a baseball stadium in the concluding scenes, underscoring the thematic connection between the two works.

Claudia, Halle and Pete - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The rationale behind these references becomes clear when we explore the inspiration behind "Anyone But You." The film draws loose parallels from Shakespeare's play, particularly in its setup. "Much Ado About Nothing" revolves around the intricate machinations of other characters orchestrating a plot to unite Benedict and Beatrice in love. Mirroring this, "Anyone But You" adopts a similar premise where external forces, personified by Claudia and Halle, play a pivotal role in catalyzing the romance between Ben and Bea.

The clever wordplay in naming the main characters Ben and Bea serves as a direct homage to "Much Ado About Nothing," where Benedict and Beatrice share a love story marked by witty banter and eventual romantic entanglements.

Claudia & Halle's Deception

As the credits roll in "Anyone But You," a surprising revelation emerges, casting a new light on the intricate web of relationships woven throughout the film. A pivotal twist unfolds, exposing the orchestrated events masterminded by Claudia and Halle, the puppeteers behind Ben and Bea's tumultuous romance.

Claudia and Halle - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The new footage showcased during the credits unveils a clandestine conversation between Claudia and Halle at the wedding reception. The bombshell drops as they confirm that the prospect of calling off the wedding was never on the table. The apparent fight heard by Ben the morning of the big day was nothing but a staged conversation, part of an elaborate scheme to manipulate Ben and Bea's emotions.

Claudia and Halle, part of a clandestine group, craftily attempted to engineer a romantic connection between Ben and Bea. Employing the tactic of loud conversations audible to either party, they sought to implant thoughts and emotions, fostering the illusion of genuine affection. The credits sequence, therefore, serves as the moment of truth, dispelling any ambiguity about the certainty of Claudia and Halle's wedding plans.

This revelation not only brings a gratifying payoff to a running joke within "Anyone But You" but also introduces a nuanced twist to the trajectory of Ben and Bea's romance. The lingering question of whether other key moments, including the conversation at the reception that nudged Ben towards pursuing Bea, were also staged, adds a layer of complexity to the authenticity of certain scenes.

Margaret & Jonathan's Relationship

As the curtains close on "Anyone But You," the fate of Margaret and Jonathan unfolds in a surprising and somewhat ambiguous manner. Despite their limited roles in the movie's ending, a revelation during the credits adds an unexpected twist, leaving us questioning the status of their relationship.

Margaret - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Margaret and Jonathan, having taken a backseat in the concluding moments, resurface in new footage during the credits, sharing a kiss at the reception. This unexpected development sparks curiosity and speculation, as we, the viewers are left to ponder the nature of their connection. The movie, however, offers no explicit confirmation or decisive proof regarding the couple's status.

Jonathan - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The absence of clear resolution contributes to the uncertainty surrounding Margaret and Jonathan's relationship. The film, steering away from definitive conclusions, leaves room for interpretation. The long-distance nature hinted at in the movie suggests that their newfound connection might be more of a rebound than a lasting commitment.

This cinematic enigma surrounding Margaret and Jonathan serves as a subtle reminder that not every storyline is neatly tied up in a romantic comedy.

Age Gap Controversy

"Anyone But You" weaves a playful narrative thread around the age gap controversy, offering a light-hearted take on the dynamics between its main stars, Ben and Bea. The film deliberately incorporates a running joke, teasing the audience about Ben's true age, injecting humor into the age-related uncertainties.

Ben - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The movie, however, keeps Ben's age shrouded in a degree of mystery, never definitively revealing this crucial detail. In the midst of the humor, the last clarification provided is Ben claiming to be 29 years old. This revelation, if accurate, would place him five years junior to actor Glen Powell in real life during the movie's production. The potential age difference between Ben and Bea becomes a subject of speculation, with Bea seemingly close in age to Sydney Sweeney's real-life age of 26.

Ben & Bea in the beach - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

As "Anyone But You" unfolds, the age gap, whether real or perceived, becomes a backdrop to the evolving romance between Ben and Bea. The film subtly addresses the societal preoccupation with age differences in relationships, yet refuses to be bogged down by it. Instead, it propels the narrative forward, using the age dynamics to enhance the humor and complexity of the characters' connection.

Setting Up a Sequel

The conclusion of "Anyone But You" leaves the door ajar, hinting at the possibility of a sequel that delves deeper into the evolving relationship between Ben and Bea. With their love story taking an unexpected turn and the revelation that some of their friends and family orchestrated their union, there's ample room for a sequel to unravel the next chapter of their lives.

As Ben and Bea embark on this newfound journey together, a potential sequel could explore the nuances of their relationship in the real world. The initial encounter and the night that brought them closer suggest that their love has the potential to flourish and grow. "Anyone But You 2" could follow their journey, perhaps culminating in their own wedding as they navigate the challenges and joys of being a genuine couple.

Crucial questions linger: Will Ben and Bea stand the test of time, or will unforeseen obstacles threaten their bond? The sequel could provide insight into the intricacies of their connection, allowing audiences to witness the authenticity of their love beyond the staged scenarios.

The charm of Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney's on-screen chemistry presents a compelling reason to revisit these characters. The sequel could further showcase their dynamic, offering audiences a delightful continuation of the banter and hijinks that made the first film so enjoyable.

Real Meaning of the Ending

"Anyone But You" concludes with a classic rom-com ending, adhering to the time-honored formula where the protagonists, Ben and Bea, find each other and embark on a journey toward a joyous life together. However, beneath the surface of this conventional romantic resolution lies a profound message about the quest for the right person and the pursuit of authenticity.

Ben & Bea True Romance - Anyone But You 2023 - Sony Pictures Entertainment
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

At its core, the movie is a testament to the journey of discovering the person with whom one can truly be happy and authentic. Ben and Bea's realization, culminating in a daring leap off a cliff for love, signifies the lengths one might go to pursue genuine happiness.

The film subtly encourages viewers to reflect on their own journeys in finding the right person and embracing their true selves. Beneath the veil of staged scenarios and orchestrated events, Ben and Bea emerge as individuals who break free from pretense and societal expectations to embrace the authenticity of their feelings.

"Anyone But You" imparts a timeless lesson about the transformative power of genuine love. It invites audiences to celebrate the joy of finding a soulmate and emphasizes the importance of being true to oneself in the pursuit of happiness.

Watch "Anyone But You" on Amazon Prime Video.

Anyone But You (2023) Ending Explained From Cliffhangers to Cliff Dives

Author: Mary Taylor

Author/Writer - Mary Taylor

Introducing Mary Taylor! When she's not gardening or running her household like a superhero, she's a wordsmith extraordinaire. With her keyboard and a sharp eye, she dives into the world of Movies & TV Shows, crafting articles that could star in their own Entertainment Enigma.

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