Netflix Viewers Call Out Sydney Sweeney for Ripping Off Mr. Bean

The opening of ‘Anyone But You’ is suspiciously familiar to ‘Bean’
Netflix Viewers Call Out Sydney Sweeney for Ripping Off Mr. Bean

Sydney Sweeney of Euphoria, Immaculate and “people being unnecessarily weird about Sydney Sweeney on the internet” fame helped to revive the romantic-comedy genre this year with the surprise theatrical success of Anyone But You. Now the blockbuster rom-com, starring Sweeney and Glen Powell, is available on Netflix, where it can be enjoyed by all the cheapskates and shut-ins who didn’t catch it in theaters. 

Anyone But You was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s classic comedy of manners Much Ado About Nothing (thank you, public domain), but some viewers have picked up on another, far less-literary source of inspiration: Mr. Bean. 

It’s true, as some critics also noted when the film was first released, Anyone But You begins with a meet-cute that’s immediately followed by Sweeney’s character accidentally spilling water all over her crotch in a public restroom. She then attempts to dry her pants by awkwardly straddling a hand dryer, which is less-advisable than most Jackie Chan stunts. 

If that scene seems familiar, that’s because it’s nearly identical to a memorable moment from Bean, the 1997 big-screen adaptation of the Mr. Bean show, starring Rowan Atkinson as the mostly-mute disaster-magnet of a man.

It’s a wonder that the movie didn’t end with Sweeney head-butting the Queen or wearing an uncooked turkey on her head! Also, Sweeney’s character’s name is “Bea” — sure, it’s probably just a reference to the character of Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, but it’s also just one letter away from “Bean,” right? RIGHT???

In addition to the opening, much of the movie is comprised of comic set pieces that arguably wouldn’t seem totally out of place in an episode of Mr. Bean, whether it’s stripping naked to avoid an insect bite, clumsily destroying wedding decorations with fireworks or attempting to steal a cookie from a first-class passenger during a long flight.

Obviously, these aren’t direct lifts, like with the bathroom dryer scene, but they all feel very Bean-y in nature. After all, Mr. Bean has also been forced to strip naked, caused damage with fireworks and gotten into trouble in first class (albeit with far more disgusting results). 

That said, Anyone But You is a pleasant diversion, even if it is about hot “morons.” Plus, Sweeney is mostly delightful, whereas Rowan Atkinson these days likes to spend his time ranting about the evils of electric carshawking NFTs and complaining about cancel culture, going so far as to tell one interviewer that “every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke” — perhaps because he confused “jokes” with “first-degree murder.” 

All of which is to say, we’re fine if Sydney Sweeney just wants to be the new Mr. Bean from here on out. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 


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