In any romantic comedy, the question remains the same: can men and women just be friends?
What If (known in some countries as The F Word) follows the typical romantic comedy outline in whereby men and women struggle to stay in a platonic relationship. The film follows the journey of Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) as he meets his ultimate match in Chantry (Zoe Kazan), his best friend’s cousin who is, to Wallace’s misfortune, currently in a long-term relationship.
Straight off the bat, Wallace and Zoe connect; their similar likes and dislikes and quirky attitudes ignite palpable chemistry that is undeniable on screen. While he is known to the whole world as Harry Potter, Radcliffe shows that he is more that just a franchise actor, signifying his indie breakout status (Horns, Kill Your Darlings). Meanwhile, indie darling already, Kazan shines in her role as the eccentric, creative Chantry. Radcliffe and Kazan have instant chemistry that was spurred on by the engaging dialogue between the characters, creating a pleasant and delightful romantic atmosphere to watch.
The film creatively and memorably achieves to put forward original characters through witty, offbeat dialogue that was a delight to witness on screen. The dynamic connection is electric, significantly assisted by character development and entertaining dialogue.
Unfortunately, What If struggles to maintain individuality amongst the sea of successful romantic comedies. With an overworked narrative, the film fails to stand out overall and lets down the entire film. As a result, What If instantly forgettable, an unfortunate situation for the appealing characters that make the film worthwhile.
What If successfully executes the powerful chemistry between leads Radcliffe and Kazan, a prominent and outstanding performance from both actors.