Monday, August 25, 2014

What If

Director: Michael Dowse
With: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Rafe Spall, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park

I've been waiting for a sweet and cute love story this year but no bueno. Two of my favorite films last year are love stories (About Time and Before Midnight) and to be honest, no 2014 film has yet to fill what About Time and Before Midnight provided for 2013. What If seems like the perfect movie that will fill that gap but not quite.

What If also known as The F Word is about the story of a medical school dropout Wallace played by Daniel Radcliffe who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationship, and Chantry played by Zoe Kazan, an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben. Wallace and Chantry meet and strike up an instant connection but with their current status, they couldn't be together so they formed a close friendship.

It's quite refreshing to watch a romantic film that's sincere, quirky, righteous but not preachy. The first half of the film where Chantry and Wallace are getting to know each other was interesting to watch. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan's quirkiness are perfect for these two characters. Radcliffe is as awkward as ever especially he's playing a guy who's supposed to be romantic but somehow, his quirkiness works and actually matches Kazan's charm. Zoe Kazan who previously played the famous Ruby Sparks is also very charming. There's one scene where she's talking to her boyfriend while drunk and she's super cute in it. Their chemistry carried the whole film that despite the flaws of the second half, I still find myself not hating it.

It's unfortunate because the sincerity of the first half wasn't maintained in the second. I liked the film until the conflict, in which they started to become hypocrites to each other and it was just shallow and annoying. The movie felt like it tried to put a little depth in the second half but failed miserably. It would have been best if they kept the lightness of the film. That way it wouldn't be corny and roll eye worthy when they tried to be deep about the relationship of Wallace and Chantry. Still, it's a feel good film that showcased a cute love story utilizing Radcliffe and Kazan's light acting talent. I'm still on the lookout on a perfect romantic comedy for 2014. It sucks because romcoms are starting to become rare like the horror genre. Oh well, I should have probably watched Begin Again?