Film Review: An Unnatural Approach to Romance in ‘What If’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – “What If” is a really bad title, but that is the least of the film’s concerns, apparently, as the old can-man-and-women-be-friends canard rears its indecisive but predictable head (snicker). This time it’s interpreted through Harry Potter and Elia Kazan’s granddaughter, if this is to be believed. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Whenever the man and woman friend question pops up in a romantic comedy, it’s almost certain that the couple are made for each other, which makes the exercise in speculating the question futile. The victims in this one are Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, and they are game to tackle the mush-mouth dialogue, but as it leads to its inevitability, the speeches and banter gets increasingly annoying. This is a new generation “When Harry Met Sally…,” but it finds no new territory in the subject, and chooses to go high concept to make up for its lack of natural authenticity. And…there are no Dumbledore references.

Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) has been recently dumped by his medical student girlfriend, which also made him drop out of the same study. His mooning for her includes sitting on the roof of his house, in which he lives with his sister and nephew. He meets Chandry (Zoe Kazan) at a party, and the two hit it off, but alas she is beholden to her boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall).

The friendship of Wallace and Chandry begins, and even though Chandry’s comely sister Dalia (Megan Park) has the hots for Wallace, the boy can’t consummate due to his pining for the other. To make matters worse, his best friend Allan (Adam Driver) is constantly cooing with his soul mate Nicole (Mackenzie Davis) and all the love in the air is giving Wallace fits. When Ben takes an assignment overseas, will Chandry follow?

“What If” opens everywhere on August 8th. Featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis and Rafe Spall. Screenplay adapted by Elan Mastal, based on a play by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi. Directed by Michael Dowse. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “What If”

Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan
Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chandry (Zoe Kazan) Are Fired Up in ‘What If’
Photo credit: CBS Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “What If”

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