SYNOPSIS: Called What If in the United States where the F Word title was seen as too salacious, (in the movie the “F” stands for friend), this is the story of Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), a loser in love who meets Chandry (Zoe Kazan), the girl of his dreams, at a party. She’s charming, pretty, funny and has a live-in boyfriend. Like Harry and Sally before them, they must discover if men and women can just be friends.
Richard: 4 Stars
Mark: 4 Stars
Richard: Mark, enchanting, whimsical and sweet are words I could use to describe The F Word, and the film earns each and every one, but it is also more than that. Director Michael Dowse doesn’t allow the tone to get sugary and slip into saccharine mode. He’s aided by a smart and funny script by Elan Mastai, but it’s Radcliffe and Kazan that drew me in. The pair has chemistry to burn and their conversations have a ring of truth that don’t feel contrived or rom commy.
Mark: Richard. This is an incredibly sweet-hearted movie that will do nothing to alleviate the problems in the Middle East. Nevertheless the movie is about 25% more realistic than most rom-coms and I was so grateful for that. But I’ve never seen a movie where the characters were so polite to one another; no wonder they set it in Toronto.
RC: It’s more realistic than most rom coms, with some real romance and some actual laughs. The once proud romantic comedy genre had been suffering form a bad case of the Katherine Heigls, but movies like this and 500 Days of Summer and Warm Bodies are persuasive attempts to reclaim the rom com from the Barrymore Method© and bring back the golden years when Harry could still meet Sally without all the annoying Heiglisms in between. That it makes Toronto and Canada look sexy and romantic is just an added bonus.
MB: I was also grateful for the indie score and the way the characters looked a little mussed, with some visible pores and an occasional zit, even if they all sported impossibly cute and expensive eyewear. Toronto does look sexy—although not dangerously sexy—but for a city that trumpets its multiculturalism, the cast and tone were lily-white. The lead was actually British! Speaking of the lead, I liked Radcliffe in the role. You, Richard
RC: I did. I thought he and Kazan made a cute couple. There’s more to Radcliffe than wizardry and battling “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” Breaking free of Harry Potter must have seemed daunting for the young actor, but he proven in movies like this and Kill Your Darlings and The Woman in Black that he is versatile and won’t be typecast. I’m curious to see what he does next.
MB: I heard he was doing Vladimir in Waiting for Godot on Broadway, dressed as Osama Bin Laden. Personally, I think he’s too short for the role.