What If


Directed by Michael Dowse

Written by Elan Mastai (screenplay), T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi (play)

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Megan Park, Rafe Spall

What-If-clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite its title this isn’t a film about ‘if’, it’s about ‘when’. Yet as it progresses, sometimes ploddingly, to the inevitable conclusion the long-awaited coupling of Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan) doesn’t always seem a sure thing.

Partly thanks to this smidgen of suspense the film is an enjoyable ride, transcending the storytelling prowess of many rom-coms by providing its protagonists with convincing back stories, though they’re delivered via a clunky narrative device.

Charming animation sporadically invades and is given free reign for the closing credits, but What If’s insistently repetitive circularity contributes to the clichés of this will-they-won’t-they tale.

Billed as the best rom-com since (500) Days of Summer, What If doesn’t quite earn this praise but it allows Daniel Radcliffe to shine as a leading man almost as magnetic as Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There’s no awkward Harry Potter­-esque first kiss for him here; this is a frank but fun story of frustrated attraction, denial and emotional adultery, though with a far more conventional wish-fulfilling conclusion than (500) Days of Summer.

If you enjoyed this you might also like my longer review of What If.

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