review: what if / the f word (2013)

If you ever decide to watch The F Word (retitled as What If)you will get exactly what you would expect. This is a very light-hearted, fun, subtle rom-com, and a great watch overall.

Synopsis (IMDB): Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.

Let’s talk about this one.

WHAT I LIKED.

Daniel Radcliffe as Wallace.
Daniel Radcliffe has actually done such an amazing job, breaking out of his image as Harry Potter, the chosen one. To be honest, I didn’t think he was that great of an actor during the Harry Potter series. Don’t get me wrong, I am the absolute biggest Harry Potter fan you will find out there, but he wasn’t really a stand out actor for me. Man, he has really developed! I really liked him in this, as well as in The Woman in Black (2012), and love how he has expanded from that fantasy world to rom-coms and even horror movies. I don’t even see him as Harry Potter anymore, which means he is doing his job correctly.

Adam Driver as Allan.
I absolutely love Adam Driver. He’s another one of those actors that just has that naturalistic way of performing. It’s like he’s just acting like himself, not as a character. To be fair – he does get type-casted into very similar roles, but it’s definitely working for him. He is wonderful, and has mastered his comedic timing, for sure.

The simplicity of the plot.
One thing I can’t stand is when films try to over-complicate plots, just to be complicated. Here, it was SO simple, which made the main plot that much stronger. This enabled the film to really focus and develop the feelings and intentions behind every character, action, and scene, and the overall film was structured very well. Sometimes, all you need is a simple plot, with interesting characters.

The fact that it was based in Toronto.
Because Toronto is the best. Go Canada.

WHAT I WAS ON THE FENCE ABOUT.

Zoe Kazan as Chantry.
There is something about her that just irritates me. I felt it when she played Ruby in Ruby Sparks (2012), and I just can’t shake that feeling off. To be completely honest, I did not like that film at all, and it might have ruined her as an actress for me. I just can’t stop seeing her in that final scene, crawling around like a dog, and doing other weird things…

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE.

The dinner scene at Chantry and Ben’s place.
This scene was just SO unnecessary. It started off ok, and then just escalated so quickly and so far. Again, I don’t usually enjoy slapstick-type humour, so this is definitely why I hated this scene. Also, this movie was just so real, and genuine – this scene just completely broke that vibe with its exaggerating nonsensicality. Other than this though, nothing really to complain about.

FINAL COMMENTS.

Taking away that scene, this was a perfectly good rom-com, and I genuinely enjoyed it. Again, I want to applaud Daniel Radcliffe for breaking out of his boy wizard image, and really developing into a natural, versatile actor. If you are in the mood for a nice, light movie, I strongly recommend this one!

just my rating: ★★★★

Other reviews on What If / The F Word (2013)
The Life of a Peach – Harry Potter and the Concept Called “The Friend Zone”
Franz Patrick’s Film Archive – What If
White on Film – ‘What If’ Review

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