What If (2013)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Michael Dowse
Run Time
1 hour and 38 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity

Rated PG-13. Running time: 1 hour 38 min.

Our content ratings: Violence 2; Language 3; Sex/Nudity 2.

Our star ratings (0-5): 3.5

 Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

Proverbs 23:23

For those tired of the summer romantic comedies in which two people within ten minutes of their first meeting are tearing off each other’s clothes as they tumble into bed (or copulate in a closet or nook), director Michael Dowse’s film will come as welcome relief. A love story for real adults set in Toronto, Canada, its restraint is a rarity in the genre, plus it gifts us with another of Daniel Radcliffe’s fine performances—as well as that of Zoe Kazan’s.

Wallace (Radcliffe) is a lonely guy in a funk over the breakup of a relationship. He has dropped out of medical school and works at an uninspiring job writing a manual of some kind. At a party he meets Chantry (Kazan), an animator, and he finds that he is able to talk freely with her. As they part, she gives him her phone number, but when her last words are that she has a live-in boyfriend, he tosses the scrap of paper later that night.

Of course, they are brought together again, and Wallace decides to give friendship a chance. He comes to their apartment for dinner where, in an aside, boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall) warns him that friendship is all he had better have in mind. Ben is an expert international copyright law working with the United Nations, so when he is posted to Dublin, Ireland, Chantry has lots of time to spend with Wallace, which leads to…

There are some funny slapstick moments, as when Wallace accidentally knocks Ben out the window of their apartment, the fall sending him to the hospital. And there are some tender moments when Chantry and Wallace share their thoughts and hopes with each other. However, the one dream that Wallace does not share is his growing love for Chantry, leading to his dream of a life together. Will it be too late when and if he does? What if, when he does reveal his true feelings for her, she accuses him of not being honest with her all their time together?

Older viewers will think of When Harry Met Sally while watching this worthy addition to the boy/girl/friendship genre. Adding greatly to the story is Wallace’s best friend Alan (Adam Driver), who has a passionate relationship with Nicole (Mackenzie Davis). Their wedding scene, at which Wallace serves as Best Man, is both amusing and moving. Also enjoyable are the many animations of Chantry flying around like the woman (his wife, usually) in many of Chagall’s whimsical paintings, these being appropriate in that Chantry is an animator.

This film is a delightful summer interlude about truth in relationships and the importance of forgiveness. To see and enjoy what a long way Mr. Radcliffe has come as actor since his days of wands and flying broomsticks, don’t miss this refreshing movie.

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