What If (2014)
Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) dropped out of medical school after devastating break up with a fellow med student. Nursing his broken heart, for far too long according to his friends, Wallace isn’t sure what to make of Chantry when he meets her at former roommate Allan’s (Adam Driver) party. Chantry (Zoe Kazan), who happens to be Allan’s cousin, is an animator who is lively and fun to be around. Wallace is in love. There is only one catch, she has a longtime boyfriend named Ben. Not willing to let her go completely Wallace agrees to be Chantry’s friend. As they develop a close friendship neither one can deny the chemistry between them leading them to ponder the question, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend? Starring Megan Park, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall, Lucius Hoyos, Jemima Rooper, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Meghan Heffern, Jonathan Cherry, Rebecca Northan, Jordan Hayes, Oona Chaplin.
While What If certainly isn’t a perfect film and there have certainly been some like it before, the chemistry between its stars and the witty yet believable dialogue makes this one an enjoyable watch. The best thing about romantic comedies like this one is that they are relatable. So many can be far fetched or over the top making them potentially fun to watch but not truly interesting. There are certainly moments in this film that border on over the top but over all the writers and director did a solid job of making the film feel as if it were real world.
My favorite part about the movie was the chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan. Their quirkiness and dorkiness melds well together giving the film an irresistible charm. Who knew the “boy who survived” could be so normal. Kazan, who I recall from the film Ruby Sparks, seems to fit well into this type of role although I think perhaps she was better in Ruby Sparks.
If the realistic nature of the film and the charming chemistry of the leads isn’t enough to convince then the witty dialogue and comedic moments should do the trick. There is plenty to love about this film that makes it worth catching in the theater.
8/10 Stars – Cute, quirky and enjoyable
Ah, so here we are again… another rom com! A genre full of wonderful movies and some that are just wannabes. Even thought this genre is pretty much the easiest kind of movie to watch, it takes great elements to pull off a great romantic comedy these days. As I watched What If, I broke the movie into 2 parts; one which was awkward and boring and the other that was charming and engaging. The first half of What If is pretty bland. The story starts with the 2 main characters meeting and having an instant connection only to find out she has a boyfriend. Wallace does the right thing (from a guy’s perspective) and ditches her number when he learns she has a boyfriend because who wants to get in the middle of that. However, Chantry shows back up in his life and Wallace is made to be the 3rd wheel. He is guy who wants to love this girl but can’t because she loves another dude. There is even a scene in the movie where Wallace’s roommate lays out all the options Wallace could take and they all make him look bad.
There is a key moment in the movie where the audience connects and finally is able to root for these 2. I won’t spoil the scene, but from that point forward, the audience is engaged. We feel the bond. We feel the need. We feel these 2 belong together and want nothing else but that. This is where the emotions fly and the chemistry between Daniel and Zoe shine. They both are quirky, witty and only get each others humor. I have to say that even though What If doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s a new kind of wheel that will have you smiling at the end. Thumbs up from me!
7/10 Stars – Even with the slow awkward start, the 2nd half is full of charm and chemistry which makes us happy