Movie Review: Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan shine in What If

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in What If, a comedy that explores the question of the right person coming along at the wrong time.

As Wallace and Chantry, Radcliffe and Kazan are a pair of twenty-somethings who are trying to figure out just what they mean to each other and what they might possibly become. The ensemble comedy comes from a highly praised script and examines a group of friends that try to figure out real-life decisions about work, love and friendship common to those in their 20s.

Michael Dowse directs the Black List screenplay written by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan). Mastai based his script on the play, Toothpaste and Cigars, by T.J. Dawe & Michael Rinaldi.

Wallace (Radcliffe) dropped out of medical school and has been burned in the past with relationships. Everyone he knows seems to meet their soulmate including his friend Allan (Adam Driver) in girlfriend Nicole (Mackenzie Davis). Making the decision that it is time to put love on hold, Wallace meets Chantry (Kazan) at a party. She’s an animator who lives with her boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), of five years. Wallace and Chantry meet at a party while they are creating refrigerator magnet poetry. They form an instant connection and strike up a close friendship. The chemistry between the two is undeniable but there’s a problem with this because Chantry is already in a relationship.

A short time later, they run into each other at a screening of The Princess Bride. Feeling a connection again, they decide to be friends. They talk about everything from movies to sandwiches to disappointing Christmas presents, exposing all of their hopes, idiosyncrasies and insecurities to each other. They even bring up Fool’s Gold–not the movie, the sandwich.

The playful banter soon evolves into intimate revelations. For Wallace, his feelings are deeper than he wants to admit and he doesn’t know if Chantry feels the same way. Soon, Chantry starts questioning her feelings for Ben as she starts growing attached to Wallace. Wallace turns to Allan to answer his questions. Should Wallace and Chantry enjoy the benefits that come with a platonic relationship or do they end their friendship because Wallace is falling in love with her? Does staying friends mean letting the love of his live slip away? Does he profess his love and lose his best friend in the process?

The film takes place over a year of their many escapades and demonstrates the complications that come with timing and sometimes tragic comedic results of choices made.

In addition to Radcliffe and Kazan, the 102-minute film stars Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Adam Driver (Girls), Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment), Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus).

Radcliffe grew up before many eyes as the wizard, Harry Potter, but he’s ready to take the next step as a leading man.