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Woody Allen’s back catalogue casts a long shadow across contemporary romantic comedy. His tropes and trademarks are as ingrained into the collective sense memory as mother’s perfume. At the first tremble of a clarinet, mutter about mortality or meander across a Manhattan neighbourhood, we inhale the nostalgia like Bisto kids. And arguably we’d never have met Harry and Sally, walked the Sidewalks of New York or dined alongside Friends with Money without his influence.
The Longest Week is peppered with Woody base notes. Over the course of seven days, Conrad (Jason Bateman) has been stripped of the safety net of his wealth and the cushion of his ego, moved in with his cynical best friend (Billy Crudup) and accidentally fallen in love with his girl (Olivia Wilde). His eventual dilemma – to be or not to be a better man – is as timeless as Annie Hall.
Now, to coincide with its DVD release, »
- Emily Breen
On February 1, 1976, Elvis Presley had a hankering for a sandwich.
It wasn’t any old sandwich, however. This sandwich was a full loaf of French bread hollowed out, covered in butter, and filled with peanut butter, jam, and about a pound of bacon. It was -- and still is -- called the Fool’s Gold Loaf, and on that fabled night in 1976, Presley spontaneously flew across the country to satisfy his very specific craving for it.
The Fool’s Gold Loaf holds a place of honour in The F Word, a Toronto-shot romantic comedy by Canadian directorMichael Dowse (Goon, Fubar). Wallace (Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan, star and director of Ruby Sparks) become best friends and then (maybe, possibly) fall in love with the help of the jelly-infused mess.
- Sasha James
Director: Michael Dowse
Running time: 102 minutes
Synopsis: When Wallace (Radcliffe) meets Chantry (Kazan) at a party, they decide to be ‘just friends’. However, with their relatives and co-workers doubting whether that ever works between a man and woman, the pair do whatever they can to prove them wrong.
To me, Daniel Radcliffe will forever be Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived. However, with the years passing since his last brush with a wand and cloak, he’s starting to branch out and cement his star alongside his real name, not his infamous alter-ego. What If (originally titled The F Word), a romantic comedy focusing on exactly that question – what if he kisses Zoe Kazan? Will the world end? – certifies Radcliffe as a solid comedic actor, showing that he can dabble in humour and it isn’t awkward or wooden. »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Can men and women ever be 'just friends'? Director Rob Reiner asked the question in 1989 with When Harry Met Sally and we knew the answer then, just as we do from the very beginning of What If. After all, much of the comedy springs like the sweat of desperation from Daniel Radcliffe's brow as he tries to contain his feelings for Zoe Kazan (aka Ruby Sparks), playing the typically cute, clever but kooky heroine who keeps him dangling.
Wallace (Radcliffe) is a med school dropout, which might imply issues around commitment, except that he's split from his long-term college sweetheart and can't get over it. That is until he claps eyes on cartoonist Chantry (Kazan) at one of those cosy, dimly lit parties that only exist »
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy held on to the top two spots at the box office this weekend, handily defeating the disappointing Expendables 3.The Top 12 earned an estimated $128.8 million this weekend, which is up six percent from the same frame last year. This August remains on track to be the biggest ever at the domestic box office with around $1 billion.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell 57 percent to an estimated $28.4 million. The movie avoided the 60-percent-plus drop of many of Summer 2014's blockbusters, which is a solid win considering the poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth. Turtles has so far earned $117.6 million, and will pass G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($122.5 million) in the next few days.In its third weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy eased 41 percent to $24.7 million. On Saturday, it eclipsed Thor: The Dark World's domestic total; with $222.3 million in the bank already, Guardians is going to have »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Radcliffe is joined in this rom-com by the very talented Zoe Kazan (shout out here for the underseen Ruby Sparks – see it, it’ll knock your socks off) as two best friends wonder if their relationship is more than just friendly. Obviously this isn’t the most original of premises but the state of play as far as modern rom-coms goes is to be taken along with snappy dialogue, sharp wits rather than intricate plot twists.
Emma Thrower and Colin Hart were on the carpet this evening to interview young Radders. Here’s how they got on.
What If hits UK cinemas 20th August. You can see all our coverage of the movie here. »
- Jon Lyus
<< Continued from "Weekend Report"The Hundred-Foot Journey opened in fourth place with $11 million. That's a bit higher than May's Million Dollar Arm; unfortunately, it paled in comparison to similar August releases like Eat Pray Love ($23.1 million) and Julie & Julia ($20 million). With strong word-of-mouth and an audience that skews much older (69 percent over the age of 35), this should hold up well: a total close to $40 million is possible.Rounding out the Top Five, Lucy fell 48 percent to $9.5 million. To date, the Scarlett Johansson/Luc Besson thriller has grossed $97.5 million, and will pass $100 million sometime this week.Step Up All In tanked with $6.5 million this weekend. That's down 45 percent from the previous installment, which was already the lowest-grossing outing in the franchise. Even with solid international returns, it would be surprising if a sixth Step Up got a theatrical release here in the U.S.Lionsgate/Summit has released six movies at over 2,000 locations this year. »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The C Word: Dowse’s Latest a Joy Despite Censor Scramble
Don’t let the marketing snafu and the hopelessly generic title fool you into thinking that What If is the forgettable rom com it’s being offered up as. Directed by Canadian director Michael Dowse, the man behind the Fubar films and the equally underrated Goon (2011), the film premiered last fall at the Toronto Film Festival as The F Word and has since been retooled to meet the constrictions of the MPAA rating system and snag a PG-13 rating. While this was an ill-advised move since the film isn’t designed for the bauble headed teens hungry for more heteronormative confirmation about what adolescent romance should look like, Dowse’s final product prevails as an enjoyable jaunt through a stale genre. Ultimately ending up exactly where we think it will, the journey there is always fresh and never contrived, »
- Nicholas Bell
To a certain subset of the population, specifically those living in the hippest areas of their respective cities, Zoe Kazan is a modern-day Meg Ryan — the queen of the indie romantic-comedy, starring in five in a row, including the fantastic Ruby Sparks, which she wrote. Her newest one, What If, comes out this weekend. She plays a Canadian animator in a long-term relationship who meets and befriends Daniel Radcliffe, but then things take a romantically comedic turn. Vulture spoke to Kazan on the phone earlier this week about the movie, grand, romantic gestures, and the death of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” (Mild spoilers follow, but considering the type of movie, not really.)Hi, Zoe.Hi, Jesse. Can you hear me? Yeah, I can hear you. Can you hear me? Yes. Ok, good. I’m in upstate New York right now, using my parents’ phone, so I was nervous about it. »
- Jesse David Fox
I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of What If this week, a romantic comedy with a quirky edge to it that makes if feel somewhat fresh, like Ruby Sparks (2012) or 500 Days of Summer (2009).
Based on a play by T.J. Dawe and directed by Michael Dowse (Goon, Fubar), this indie comedy with heart is heavy on conversationalist dialogue, wears it’s heard on its sleeve and is, throughout its just-over 90 minute running time, a delightful story of boy and girl meet, girl has boyfriend, boy wants to make a move but can’t, difficulties in their friendship occur. It seems, on the surface, and on paper, a little predictable and run of the mill, but feels much more out of the ordinary in »
- Chris Cummings
(Cbr) Deborah Ann Woll has been cast as Karen Page in "Daredevil." "True Blood" actress Deborah Ann Woll has landed the female lead in Marvel Television and Netflix's upcoming "Daredevil" series. Reported by Entertainment Weekly, Woll will play the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Karen Page, the longtime love interest of Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Although Woll is best known for her portrayal of Jessica Hamby in HBO's "True Blood," she also had roles in "Ruby Sparks" and the animated adaptation of "Axe Cop." Her upcoming projects include "Meet Me in Montenegro" and "Forever." Karen Page was first introduced in "Daredevil" #1 in 1964, and initially served as the secretary at law firm Nelson and Murdock. During the course of her life as a character, Karen was a love interest both for Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, and ended up having a long-term on-again/off-again relationship with Matt Murdock for many years. During »
- Steve Sunu, Comic Book Resources
HBO has announced the star-studded supporting cast for its upcoming mini-series adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Olive Kitteridge". Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") will helm the four-part mini-series which debuts on the network in November.
Set over a 25 year period in a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, the story follows a middle-school math teacher named Olive (Frances McDormand) who uses a wicked wit and harsh demeanor to mask a warm but troubled heart .
Richard Jenkins ("Burn After Reading") portrays Olive’s kind-hearted pharmacist husband, Henry. John Gallagher, Jr. ("The Newsroom") is their son Christopher, Peter Mullan ("Top of the Lake") plays fellow teacher Jim O’Casey, Rosemarie DeWitt ("Mad Men") as a shut-in named Rachel Coulson, Zoe Kazan ("Ruby Sparks") as the pharmacist worker Denise Thibodeau, Ann Dowd ("Side Effects") as a family friend.
Also onboard are Cory Michael Smith »
- Garth Franklin
CBS Films has released the first trailer for What If (formerly The F Word), director Michael Dowse’s (Goon) romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) alongside Rafe Spall (Life of Pi), Adam Driver (Girls), Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment), Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Oona Chaplin (Quantum of Solace). Take a look after the official synopsis…
What If is the story of medical school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who’s been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan (Adam Driver) seems to be finding the perfect partner (Mackenzie Davis), Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there »
- Gary Collinson
One of the problems with romantic comedies that ask questions like “Can men and women just be friends?” or “Can friends have sex without it becoming romantic?” is that, no matter how subversive things might get along the way, the answer is almost always “No.” Movies like Friends With Benefits, When Harry Met Sally and No Strings Attached have tried to break the mold, but ultimately Hollywood romantic comedies always end up gravitating towards a happy ending where the couple falls into each other’s arms.
It would be nice to think that What If - a new romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) – will have the guts to break this pattern. Based on the new trailer, however, it seems likely to follow a more traditional formula. Radcliffe plays Wallace, ...
- H. Shaw-Williams
But prepping for his first romantic lead required more than just dropping his drawers. In the film, from director Michael Dowse (Goon, Take Me Home Tonight), Radcliffe, 24, had to get comfortable acting in modern times. After Harry Potter and period films such as The Woman in Black, What If — about a med-school dropout (Radcliffe) who falls for an already attached art director (Ruby Sparks’ Zoe Kazan) — is Radcliffe’s “first foray into the 21st century,” he notes. To prep, »
- Nicole Sperling
The film centres around medical school dropout Wallace (Radcliffe) who falls for animator Chantry (Kazan).
Unfortunately, she lives with her long-term boyfriend, and as their friendship deepens they begin to question where they go next.
Radcliffe will next be seen in Joe Hill adaptation Horns.
Buzz has been quietly building for a little while around Michael Dowse's upcoming movie “What If,” which screened at Tiff last year to generally good reviews (though we missed it). That buzz was only slightly deadened by a confusing last-minute title change from “The F Word,” because that would have been too naughty, or something. It stars Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”) and Daniel Radcliffe (nope, can't think what he's been in off the top of our heads—something quite big, though), along with Adam Driver and Rafe Spall, following a young man who's stuck in the friend zone with a girl who likes a lot more than that. And now, the first clip from the film has arrived.It looks ... well, it looks like an indie romcom in which a sadsack dude meets an affirming, quirky young lady and is awkward about it. It remains to be seen if »
- Ben Brock
Already available to watch on Vimeo (for $5), Joss Whedon’s newest story of supernatural romance, "In Your Eyes," now has a trailer. The soft, pretty images reveal two loners on opposite sides of the country -- played by Zoe Kazan (writer and star of "Ruby Sparks") and Michael Stahl-David ("Cloverfield") -- who can somehow see through each other’s eyes. They become fast friends, coaching each other through life, and presumably eventually fall in love, wanting to abandon the gimmick for the real thing. Directed by Brin Hill, "In Your Eyes" appears to be a standard and sweet romance, which will have us rooting for the two to finally come together. In his lukewarm review for Indiewire, Eric Kohn sums it up thus: "It's cheesy and slight, but persistently smart and entertaining within those narrow parameters." You can read more about its method of release (as well as watch Whedon »
- Melina Gills
Review Andrew Blair 23 Apr 2014 - 06:31
Ousting the Peter Gabriel song from the top of search engine results, Bellwether Pictures second film (after 2012's Much Ado About Nothing) is notable for its release strategy (digital rental) and for being from a new script by Joss Whedon (with Brin Hill directing). Many will doubtless choose to rent it for this reason alone. For those who are on the fence, consider the following:
Say 'Paranormal Romance' and there's still a residual image of a greased-up buff guy standing next to a wolf on a book cover. Say 'Romantic Comedy' and there's still an image of two self-obsessed own-fart-sniffers trampling over other people's lives to get married. Whedon has concocted a paranormal romantic comedy, though the emphasis is on the romance.
Romantic comedies are, by their very nature, »
Joss Whedon wrote and produced a sweet little supernatural romance for your geeky pleasure, and you don’t even have to pirate it: he released it instantly on Vimeo. I’m “biast” (pro): love Joss Whedon
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Joss Whedon has a new movie. You cannot see it in theaters… but you can rent it right now, online, at Vimeo, from anywhere on the planet, for the ridiculously low price of five American bucks. Is it worth five bucks? It sure is. It would be worth twice that to see it on a big screen, but this is one of those little indie-style dramedies that hardly ever end up on big screens anymore. It has no superheroes, and it has no space cowboys.
What it does have are two gently, identifiably screwed-up 30-ish folks in Rebecca »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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