From 90s Nostalgia to Modern Heartbreak: How Sydney Sweeney's "My Best Friend's Wedding" Surprise Melted Dermot Mulroney's Heart and Set the Stage for "Anyone But You"Sydney Sweeney and Dermot Mulroney. PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER POLK/VARIETY VIA GETTY, JOHN LAMPARSKI/WIREIMAGE

Under the warm California sun, a group of actors gathered not just for the premiere of their new romantic comedy, “Anyone But You,” but for a sweet dose of cinematic déjà vu. At the helm was Sydney Sweeney, the 26-year-old Euphoria star, who surprised her co-star, Dermot Mulroney, with a special treat: a screening of his 1997 cult classic, “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

Mulroney, who plays the charming yet oblivious Michael O’Neal in the beloved rom-com, hadn’t seen the film since its premiere a quarter-century ago. Sweeney, a self-proclaimed “massive fan” of the movie, orchestrated the surprise screening not only to pay homage to the genre itself but also to “bring back that nostalgia of an old rom-com” for the entire cast.

Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’. Photo: EVERETT COLLECTION

“I grew up watching those Julia Roberts comedies,” Sweeney told PEOPLE magazine exclusively. “I wanted the cast to understand the legacy they were stepping into with ‘Anyone But You,’ and what better way than to revisit a classic like ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’?”

The makeshift movie night proved to be a hit. Glen Powell, who plays Sweeney’s love interest in the new film, described the experience as “magical.” “It was such a special thing to watch Dermot watch ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding,'” he shared. “He hadn’t seen it since he shot or since the premiere. You could see the memories flooding back, the smiles, the occasional cringe… it was like witnessing movie history unfold before our eyes.”

More than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane, the screening served as a bonding experience for the “Anyone But You” cast. The laughter, tears, and shared insights into Mulroney’s iconic performance helped forge a sense of camaraderie that transcended the silver screen.

“Dermot was cracking jokes, pointing out little Easter eggs we might have missed as first-time viewers,” Powell revealed. “He even sang along to ‘I Say a Little Prayer.’ It was pure joy.”

Sweeney, ever the meticulous planner, didn’t stop at the movie. She also surprised Mulroney with a personalized cake adorned with stills from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and the tagline “Still Standing After 25 Years.” The gesture left Mulroney visibly touched, calling it “one of the most thoughtful things anyone’s ever done for me.”

The unexpected “My Best Friend’s Wedding” revival wasn’t just a pleasant diversion, but it also resonated with the themes explored in “Anyone But You.” Both films navigate the complexities of love, friendship, and second chances, highlighting how even the most familiar stories can surprise us with their enduring resonance.

“There’s a reason these rom-coms become classics,” said Sweeney. “They tap into universal emotions, remind us of the power of love, and make us laugh along the way. I hope ‘Anyone But You’ can capture a bit of that magic for a new generation.”

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow on the “Anyone But You” after-party, one thing was clear: the spirit of classic rom-coms was alive and well. Thanks to Sydney Sweeney’s thoughtful initiative, a new generation of actors embarked on their own romantic comedy journey, guided by the golden light of cinematic nostalgia. And somewhere in the mix, Dermot Mulroney, reliving a piece of his own cinematic past, realized that even after 25 years, “I Say a Little Prayer” still rings true.

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