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Can TikTok save a mediocre movie?

Anyone But You, a romantic comedy starring Sydney Sweeney, is proof that the answer is yes

Can TikTok save a mediocre movie? Anyone But You, a romantic comedy starring Sydney Sweeney, is proof that the answer is yes

When No Hard Feelings, a raunchy romantic comedy directed by Gene Stupinsky and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman, hit cinemas worldwide, social media users hailed it as a miracle. The rom-com, a genre often criticized by critics but beloved by audiences, seemed to be experiencing a second (or third, or fourth) spring. Finally, we anticipated seeing prominent actors on the big screen portraying absurd and humorous situations with a happy ending, or so we thought. That's why when another film of the same genre, titled Anyone But You, was announced with Sydney Sweeney (fresh from the success of Euphoria) and Glen Powell (straight from Top Gun: Maverick), directed by Will Gluck, the news was met with tremendous enthusiasm. However, it didn't last long.

The First Teaser of Anyone But You

In October 2023, the very first brief teaser of the film was released online, and the hopes of potential viewers were temporarily shattered. The film, initially presented as a romantic comedy in the style of the early 2000s, appeared from the early images more like a thriller—a psychosexual game between two blond and beautiful protagonists who were drawn to and repelled each other against the backdrop of Death of Me by WizTheMc’s. Not exactly what was promised. The audience's reaction was ruthless and very explicit, and the director and co-writer took full responsibility in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "It's a very funny comedy, but if you watch the teaser without context you think someone is going to be killed. It was a mistake on my part. I just wanted people to think, 'What is this film?'" Perhaps the choice of song also played a part. In November, a new trailer set things right, aligning with the initial statements and audience expectations. This time, the background track was bad idea right? by Olivia Rodrigo. And that makes all the difference in the world.

An Unexpected Success

Once past this initial hurdle, things went better. Anyone But You was released in US cinemas on December 22, 2023, and in Italian cinemas on January 25. Meanwhile, between the US release and "ours," the song that marks the final scene and the credits of the film, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, went viral on TikTok. Released in 2004 and now rediscovered thanks to the film, just like what happened with Saltburn and Murder on the Dancefloor, the song has seen a 2400% increase in interest and usage in the last week, especially (92%) by people in the 18-24 age group. The film, in the meantime, has achieved decent success and earned $126 million at the global box office. In Italy, specifically, it managed to do even better: its debut is the best for a rom-com since 2019. Are these things connected? That the success of films is also due to the choice of the soundtrack is not new, just think of Titanic and My heart will go on by Celine Dion. Or Flashdance with What a feeling. Here, however, a third element is added to the equation: we're talking about TikTok.

@exploringina Fatelo uscireeee #fyp #perte #viral #unwritten #anyonebutyou #amiche #perte #fyp #girls #roma @Sofi @Michela Esposito @Lisa Carano original sound - 2000spophits

Is the Credit Due to Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield and TikTok?

Can TikTok save a mediocre movie? Anyone But You, a romantic comedy starring Sydney Sweeney, is proof that the answer is yes | Image 486075

In the article about Murder On The Dancefloor, we wondered when songs from the early 2000s and films with a very young target audience would be deliberately paired, to help each other climb the charts, riding the wave of nostalgia (which seems to be the prevailing sentiment of our decade) and the approval of the Gen Z on social media. The moment seems to have already arrived. Whether it's a strategy or a stroke of luck doesn't matter much: a simple romantic comedy (not particularly brilliant) can be propelled by a TikTok trend based on a song featured in the film, and this can determine its fate, its success or failure, shift people's opinions, urge them to go see it. It goes beyond mere word of mouth. This provides an important power to the video-sharing platform, which could be increasingly used in this way, to launch or re-launch movies, songs, products, and much more, but also as a sales platform, with a strong grip on the audience.