Film Review – What If (2013)

Title – What If (2013)

Director – Michael Dowse (Goon)

Cast – Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Megan Park, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall

Plot – Hard luck story and medical college dropout Wallace (Radcliffe) is struggling to come to terms with life after a messy breakup. At a chance encounter at a party ran by best friend Allan (Driver), Wallace meets Chantry (Kazan) a girl who seems like the perfect match him, all bar the fact she already has a boyfriend. Can Wallace and Chantry be friends, even though Wallace in fact wants more than that?

 “If It’s too simple you’ve got no reason to try, and if you’ve got no reason to try you don’t”

Review by Eddie on 2/03/2015

Having finally once and for all trounced the evil incarnate that was Voldemort and saved Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the last time, everyone’s favourite boy wizard Harry Potter has ditched his spectacles, his once lover Ginny Weasley (and their children) and his old friends Ron and Hermione for the bright lights of Toronto, Canada to seek out a new world amongst the muggles.

It’s in this new world that Harry discovers the true troubles of life and making a world for oneself. His heart has been broken by an ex-girlfriend, he lives with his older sister (who he never knew he had) and his only real friend is Adam Sackler from the muggle made TV show Girls. Just when things seem to be getting worse for our wizard friend he meets famous Hollywood director Elia Kazan’s granddaughter Zoe who just might be the girl of his dreams (sorry Ginny) expect for one thing, she is dating Timothy Spall’s workaholic son Rafe. This leaves poor Harry in a dilemma, how to be a friend to someone you may in fact love and in this tale titled What If, we soon realise that Harry’s life is becoming a living embodiment of a Hugh Grant rom-com with mixings of everyone’s favourite whimsical romance 500 Days of Summer.

We’ve got the strange and comical best friend, the whip smart dialogue that is funny if wholly unrealistic and the quirky love between two souls that seemed destined for each other, even if they don’t fully realise it at the time. Harry shows himself to be a deft hand at comic timing and seemingly enjoying the freedom from being loosened from the old ball and chain that is Ron and Hermione, he appears to be having a blast with his new found life away from the world of magic. Harry’s ably supported by his new BFF Zoe and Adam from Girls is always good value, whether it be offering advice to Harry or just generally providing his life with some humour.

What If is a neat, quick and eccentric little rom-com that is lovingly directed by Michael Dowse (who directed the awesome and under seen hockey comedy Goon) and well-acted by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry’s alter ego) and Ruby Sparks breakout star Zoe Kazan. There are clichés galore in this fairly by the numbers rom-com but there is also enough fresh material here to suggest that a fine helping of originality was imbued into a tale that is easy to watch, funny to listen to and almost assured to be forgotten about once the credits finish. You could do a lot worse for your newest date night movie, and let’s just hope that Harry can get over his past trials and enjoy his new life in Toronto.

3 freshly cooked batches of Nacho’s out of 5

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23 responses to “Film Review – What If (2013)

  1. Good review Eddie. It’s a nice piece of rom-com that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel, as much as it just tells a nice story worth watching and getting somewhat invested in.

  2. That was a great review.

    I found the movie enjoyable, if slightly forgettable. It seemed to strain credulity that the girl would try to be “just friends.” It seems the mistake that many high school girls make, and I couldn’t help but wonder why she thought this would work long term.

    It was still perfectly enjoyable, don’t get me wrong.

      • Yeah, it reminded me of this teen movie, “Lemonade Mouth” that I saw an excerpt of when I was subbing one day. The girl has a guy friend and she says “You’re not like a ‘guy’ guy.” In other words, “You’re my friend, which means you have been effectively neutered.” I remember thinking how many girls make that mistake in high school. It rarely ends as well as it does in “What If?”
        Of course, 15 year old girls have an excuse for making that mistake.

  3. Hi Eddie – great review, loved the approach (made me think Harry wouldn’t have had too much of a problem with the Woman in Black), and a nice change to see a rom-com reviewed here – keep it up!

  4. Awesome review. I might need to see this because I love Zoe Kazan… but then Daniel Radcliffe… meh.

  5. Pingback: Film Review – Imperium (2016) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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