What If (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Chemistry-driven, but uncompelling.

Whether we admit it or not, we all live in a sea of what ifs. Not to say that’s because we regret any of our life choices, but rather to say just that – what if? What if this happened differently than it actually did…where would I be in life? Would I be in the same spot or would everything be different. Better? Worse? It’s a mind-boggling question and you could literally think about it for hours on end. We’ve all been struck with the question – but the movie What If? only hits one version of this question…which happens to be one of love and relationships. What if I stay and see what happens with this girl who is already in a relationship…will it make a difference? What if I agree to just be friends even though I want something more? Will it be my own struggle that won’t affect her…or is it a bad idea?

What If stars Daniel (Harry Potter) Radcliffe and Zoe (Ruby Sparks) Kazan as our two star-crossed lovers of the day. Here’s what you should know – Wallace (Radcliffe) is wildly in love with Chantry (Kazan), but can’t make any moves because she’s dating a hotshot United Nations expert. Her boyfriend is never around though, so she also has a thing for Wallace – so they unknowingly have a bit of an emotional affair…which can only lead to one thing…

Hmm, well one this is for sure – Zoe Kazan has this amazing ability to bring chemistry to the screen. Whether it’s friendly, family, or romantic chemistry…she is a wizard at it because she has this very unique and innocent way about the way she plays her characters. Yeah, it may be getting a little tiresome seeing her do the same thing over and over, and yes, I’d like to see a more broader acting range from the gal, but she still has a great talent in chemistry. You wouldn’t think Daniel Radcliffe would do so well in a rom-com, but if it wasn’t for her presence, he probably would have been horrible.

So the film has great chemistry and generic social interaction, but what else does it have? In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t have anything else. This whole plot was utterly predictable and nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m glad these two actors took a stab at it, but when you think about the writing room – you have to acknowledge that somewhere someone said this idea was unique enough to make a movie out of, and it’s not. Because of that, the movie is uncompelling, and because of that, the movie feels really long. I mean, really really long.

When you think about entertainment level, the movie is almost…almost at a point where you can watch if you’re bored and have nothing else to do. I say almost because the chances are, any other movie would probably be a little more unique and interesting than this one. However, if you’re one of those strange people that only watch movies based on character chemistry, then hey, enjoy it.

The Good:

What If has a lot of great chemistry going for it. As far as romance goes, the film does a great job at presenting two people on the same wave lengths – which can be very hard to find in real life. If nothing else, that’s commendable.

The Bad:

There is absolutely nothing special about this movie. It’s a very basic romantic comedy that never surprises you and never really tries to be anything unique – and because of that, it’ll feel like the thing is at least 2 hours when it’s really 90 minutes.

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