What If review – Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in tame romance

Med school dropout boy, Radcliffe, meets quirky animator girl, Kazan, at a party. Then girl goes home. What gives?

Zoe Kazan signs on for Manic Pixie Dream Girl duty opposite shy Brit Daniel Radcliffe in this Canadian produced romcom that leaves the generic envelope unpushed, unexamined and unmolested in every way. Kazan is Chantry, an animator (naturally), who hits it off with med school dropout Wallace (Radcliffe) at a super-loud party. He charms her with his quirky-nervy small talk; she gives him her number and says it would be great to hang out but she must now be getting home to her boyfriend. So what, are they just friends? What's going on? Hashtag weird or what? Adam Driver plays Wallace's regulation male best friend – a very tame, lo-cal version of his turn in Lena Dunham's Girls. And Chantry's boyfriend, Ben, is played by Rafe Spall, who does a professional job with a somewhat charmless character and makes a sizeable, if perhaps unintentional claim on your sympathies by the end of the film. There are some reasonable moments, and Kazan brings all her cherubic prettiness and vulnerability, but I can't help thinking it appeared to better effect in her own romantic fantasy, Ruby Sparks.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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