What If Review

The Plot

When recently single Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) he feels an instant connection. However, when she reveals she has a boyfriend, Wallace agrees to just be friends. But can a boy and girl really stay just friends…?

The Good

It’s been 3 years since the Harry Potter franchise ended but to most fans, Daniel Radcliffe will always be the Boy Who Lived in their eyes. What if being his third film since Deathly Hallows Part 2 (after The Woman In Black and Kill Your Darlings) it seems to be quite clear that Radcliffe wants us to know that he is more than just a one hit wonder. Well more than an eight movie mega franchise hit wonder. With horror and thriller safely under his belt, Radcliffe’s latest gives him the chance to show his talent in the romantic comedy genre. And he does not disappoint.

A lot of the success in this is due to the great chemistry between not only Wallace and his best friend Allan (Adam Driver), but also the Sally to Wallace’s Harry, Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Driver brings the goofy side of the romantic comedy effortlessly whether by his excitement over post-coital nachos or his clearly thought out advice for Wallace. Kazan on the other hand helps bring a fantastic friendship to life as she and Radcliffe own the screen together. The element that works best in What If is easily the script. The dialogue flows throughout the film naturally, never leaving a dull moment.

Although the basic premise of What If is superficially similar to films like When Harry Met Sally or Friends With Benefits, it actually does a fine job at striving to avoid overly familiar cliches and delivers something fresh,funny and sweetly sincere.

The Bad

There’s nothing particularly awful that can be said about What If,   though despite it’s best efforts, ultimately it can’t  entirely escape rom-com familiarity and inevitable comparisons to timeless classic When Harry Met Sally. Dealing with the dilemma of maintaining purely platonic friendships between men and women, the film reaches predictable if satisfying conclusions.

The Ugly Truth

What If is a When Harry Met Sally for the new generation of romance. With a great chemistry running between the cast and plenty of chuckles to be had, it’s certainly not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. It delivers something fresh and satisfying, making it easily one of the very best recent additions to the rom-com genre.

Daniel Radcliffe in depth interview below from the What if Premiere press conference in London:

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