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WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace, who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan seems to be finding the perfect partner, Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben. Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend? Written by
Daniel Radcliffe said in an interview that his role as Wallace is the first contemporary character he's ever played, having previously starred in mostly fantasy and historical projects. He said, "There was something lovely about just stepping up on set and talking." See more »
(at around 13 mins) Wallace explains what "Fools Gold" is. He talks of coating the inside with an entire jar of peanut butter as well as a jar of jam. After that, you see Chantry typing an email to Wallace, below which you can see Wallace's original email about Fools Gold. This email, however, doesn't talk about a jar of peanut butter. Just jam. See more »
I remember the night Allan and Nicole met. And that instant conection. If you're lucky it happens once in a lifetime and if you're unlucky, then you have to come to weddings and listen to people like me talking about it. And asume we're all hopeless romantics... It's very easy to be cynical about love, but this, tonight, this is hard.
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The beginning of the closing credits are done with Chantry's animations telling some of the story of the movie as well as some of the back story. See more »
What If asks a basic question if a friendship between a boy and a girl could lead their relationship to something romantic. It isn't an idea that we haven't heard before, of course, but for some reason the movie does feel a lot fresh. It offers one thing that we don't always see in a romantic film lately: an ultimately likable on screen couple. They may not be a typical stale supermodel looking pair, the uniqueness it highlights to these characters are their personalities and their problems. It may not make their personal situations any complex, but it still is a memorable little romcom that shines through its humor and performances.
The film is best when it only settles with its two leads starting to build their connection into friendship until it gets serious. What makes this love story so genuine is their conversations as friends pouring out their honest views toward something, like love or their lives. Following its central plot would make the clichés visible, but by just looking through the world of these characters is what helps it show its own color. It also sells well when they reveal each of their issues, it sometimes takes them as one of its jokes, but whenever it gets compellingly heavy, it usually resolve those situations too easy. It's probably because it wanted to focus more on its sweetness, but it does still deserve some depth at the unthinkable fate of the "friendzone".
The depth is instead placed on the actors. There is an undeniable charm to be found in Daniel Radcliffe, even though his character is struck with a cynical side personality and Zoe Kazan brings much of the soul to the connection of every person her character jumps right into. Both of them spark a strangely admirable chemistry that makes the witty screen writing sound more lively. It just embraces the awkwardness of their desires. The direction makes it real simple, though it does pull off a little hipster-y animation when it shows their abstract feelings, but most of the time it just let it linger at the very meaningful moments.
The most important thing What If needs is gumption at portraying how doomed the both are from ending up with each other, but it still is a worth a watch for its often delightful environment. Its strongest appeal is just the two stars tagging you along in their world of an uncertain luck. Not sure what kind of people would leave the theater having sudden thoughts of word magnets and art-driven animation, or nachos and Fool's Gold Loaf, but to be sure this film has its distinction as a romantic comedy. Overall, it's all pretty nice.
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