Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Rafe Spall, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Synopsis: Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.
What If is a film that totally divided me. On one hand the typical New York, or in this case Toronto, hipster types on display just made me cringe so much my head nearly collapsed, but on the other hand I do like a quirky rom com with a decent soundtrack and likeable actors (see 500 Days of Summer as an example).
We have to suffer people with names like Wallace and Chantry in What If. We also have to watch those people do hipster things like go to knitting cafes (or something like that it would seem). And they have jobs that no real people have, and they hang out at places no real people hang out etc etc.
Yet. Yet. I still couldn’t help but quite like What If. Maybe it’s because I know that Daniel Radcliffe is quite endearing, and Zoe Kazan is quite cute and they had a nice chemistry. Maybe because Adam Driver is quite funny. Maybe because there were a couple of decent songs on the soundtrack. I don’t know, but I happily sat through it by the time why hipster rage had died down.
Radcliffe plays Wallace, and he meets Zoe Kazan’s character Chantry (cringe) at a party whilst making poems out of fridge magnets (quirk alert). They get on like a house on fire until Chantry puts it out by saying she has a boyfriend. Wallace hides his feelings behind a BFF wall and together they carry on their merry way. Except in true rom-com fashion, things happen.
Like I said, there are aspects of this film that will grate on anyone who doesn’t live the kind of life these people live (if there are such people). But it’s also hard not to be won over by the chemistry between the four main actors (Driver and Mackenzie Davis being the other couple). There were at least a couple of laugh out loud moments and the film did its job without reaching any great heights.
Overall a solid enough effort but maybe a bit too whimsical or quirky for some tastes.