Cert: 15 Runtime: 98 mins Director: Michael Dowse Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver and Rafe Spall
99% honesty is the foundation of any relationship
Many years ago society couldn’t imagine Daniel Radcliffe in a romantic comedy, but on the hind-sight society would always be intrigued by it. He literally is broadening his acting credentials with films like Horns, Woman In Black and Kill Your Darlings. What If has been dubbed the new 500 Days of Summer, this is a big ask for What If. But first of all What If, what is it? After being left with a broken heart, medical school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) is avoiding romance. But then he meets flirty animator Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at a party. The connection between them is immediate. Unfortunately, Chantry reveals that she’s living with Ben (Rafe Spall), her boyfriend of five years. As Wallace and Chantry start hanging out together, bonding over their shared love of ‘The Princess Bride’, their friendship deepens. How long can they postpone the inevitable?Romantic comedies have reached that point that horror seems to have reached in that any tweaks in the formula has dwindle. There’s only so much that can be done to differentiate one movie from the others in the genre and that’s very true for the romantic comedy genre. The one aspect that can truly help a movie in this sub-genre is the strength of its leads and the situations in which they are put into.
What If doesn’t do anything new with the formula, but it provides enough charm that overcomes the predictability to deliver a solid outing.This movie primarily is Daniel Radcliffe continuing separation from Harry Potter and become a leading man and he does a good job. He’s charming, awkward, and you root for him to find love. Zoe Kazan works on the same level as she also contributes a lot of likability and charm to the movie. They both shine as their attempts to remain friends begins to be a challenge. Adam Driver pops up as Radcliffe’s friend and he’s always trusted to bring in some laughs. I also liked how Kazan’s boyfriend wasn’t a complete jerk like most movies would have him be. The movie also has this quirky indie comedy vibe to it with some nice animation and silly flashbacks.The main fault is that it is still a predictable rom com. It has the two leads, they are friends, and then they realize that maybe things could be different and well that can’t be avoided. The movie also has some lulls when it comes to the jokes as some of the comedy doesn’t work.Overall, it is a charming romantic comedy very much in the vein of When Harry Met Sally showcasing Radcliffe’s growth as an actor.