What If: Film Review

THE F WORD

I’ve left writing this review for a few days simply because I struggle to articulate my thoughts on it. Even immediately after the screening, I wasn’t sure what to say and had difficulty putting my thoughts into words with my friend. In a nutshell: It was enjoyable but I wanted more.

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Wallace, a British med-school dropout who meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan), the cousin of his best pal Allan (Adam Driver). They get on so well at a party and when he walks her home, he is hit with the news that she has a long-term boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). They agree to be just friends but can Wallace do it?

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The thing with these films is that you know the ending right away and there have been multiple stories about being in the “friend zone” so I hoped it would break new ground. From reviews I had seen prior, I had a high expectation that it would be refreshing and a new take on the rom-com. But it wasn’t ground-breaking enough.

Sure, the dialogue and the scenes detailing their friendship are great and pretty unique, for example they talk about faeces, alternative names for Cool Whip and random other conversations that shows how strong their bond is. It is interesting and enjoyable. So while the road to the end plot-wise is pretty similar, the way it is fleshed out with characterisation and dialogue is brilliant. I also like how it deals with the challenges of long-distance relationships so accurately.

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The cast are amazing. I love Zoe Kazan, she is adorable and I can’t handle her being upset. Radcliffe is great but Adam Driver and his girlfriend Nicole (played by Mackenzie Davis) upstage him. It is pretty emotional. You can see how much Wallace wants to be with her but doesn’t want to break up her relationship with Ben or confess that he lied about being okay about being just friends. It tugs at the heartstrings one moment and make you laugh the next.

So what I’m saying is, it was great little film but I wanted it to achieve more. I loved the journey but was disappointed by the stereotypical ending. Then again, I think I would have been pissed had they not got together – so it’s a lose-lose situation. So I say check it out because it is still heart-warming and sweet, yet rude and hilarious too. Also, make sure you pay attention to the animation in the credits because that contributes a lot to the plot and will reveal the true ending.

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