What if review

Michael Dowse
Daniel Radcliffe
Zoe Kazan
Adam Driver
Rafe Spall
Rated: PG-13

Daniel Radcliffe plays Wallace in “What If.” A guy who is fed up with love and relationships after a not so great break up, Wallace finds himself just stumbling through life with no real direction. His life brightens up, though, when he meets a woman named Chantry (Kazan) at a party one night.

The two have an instant connection and develop a friendship, the problem for Wallace, though, is that Chantry is already in a relationship with her boyfriend Ben, played by Rafe Spall. This leads to the dilemma of Wallace getting close as a friend while keeping his romantic interest a secret.

“What If” is one of the more charming romantic comedies to come out recently, matching the likes of last year’s “About Time.” The film is smartly written and manages to balance genuine emotion and good humor rather nicely.

While it does take a couple turns into a bit more cliche territory, the movie still has enough moments to keep an audience invested, either from its drama or its witty comedy.

The best part of “What If” are the characters, since they feel more real than in some other romantic comedies. For example, the character Ben could have been portrayed as more of an antagonist, but he wasn’t. A lot that goes on with him is actually somewhat understandable.

The characters themselves are backed up by very nice performances. Daniel Radcliffe is great on screen in the lead role as he gives the character some honesty and believability, somewhat like what Joseph Gordon-Levitt did with the lead character in “500 Days of Summer.”

Kazan was very likable as Chantry and worked well on screen with Radcliffe. Their chemistry really made the relationship work and it made the film all the more charming.

The movie also has a good balance of the type of humor it uses. For the most part it is smart and witty, but it has just a dash of slapstick to keep things lively.
Minor flaws in the movie are a few jokes here and there not working and some predictable scenes.

That being said, “What If” is a very good romantic comedy and is a real treat to watch. It’s probably not one of the best of all time, but it’s well worth the price of admission. 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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