Friday, August 22, 2014

What If

Can a man and a woman stay friends and only friends? It's a question that has been asked since, well, When Harry Met Sally brought it up. Many other films have been trying to ask that question since then, and the answer is usually "no". But is it possible?

Michael Dowse's What If (or The F Word as it's known everywhere else) is the newest film to ask that question. In a way, the film is similar to When Harry Met Sally in regards with some character interactions. But What If also examines a recent phenomenon that When Harry Met Sally didn't have a name for: the "friend zone".

Admittedly, the "friend zone" isn't something I like hearing about on a semi-regular basis (particularly from the "spurned" side of the situation). However, I'm willing to hear one's take on the matter. And Dowse provides a variation where the two friends are actually fine with their current situation but everyone else thinks it won't stay that way for very long. (Though admittedly that's another trope altogether.)

But who are the two halves of this "just friends" situation? Well, they're played by Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, and they both provide an honesty to their roles. Their characters of Wallace and Chantry show a genuine connection throughout their scenes, something that's often lacking in other romantic comedies.

Though it doesn't break any new ground, What If is still a rather charming film. It has its fair share of rom-com cliches but thanks to Dowse, Radcliffe and Kazan, they provide variations of them. What If is without a doubt a nice change of pace from the last few romantic comedies we've been getting lately.

My Rating: ****

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