What If, film review: Daniel Radcliffe is funny and affecting as romantic lead
Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe make a thoroughly engaging double act
Acerbic and maudlin by turns, Douse’s screwball romantic comedy sees Hogwarts old boy Radcliffe venturing successfully into Cary Grant territory.
He plays lovelorn medical school drop-out Wallace, first seen sitting on the roof, pining for the girlfriend who cheated on him 379 days before.
Zoe Kazan plays Chantry, a wisecracking charmer who shares his offbeat view of the world. Their mutual attraction is obvious but she is already in a relationship with the self-righteously obnoxious Ben (Rafe Spall) so both try hard to maintain the illusion that they are only friends.
Some of the dialogue is very witty indeed. The would-be lovers turn out to share a fascination with Elvis Presley’s dietary habits and to have the same facility for puns and morbid jokes.
Kazan, the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan, is delightful as the heroine: wryly humorous one moment and prudishly melancholic the next.
Radcliffe is also funny and affecting as the romantic lead, trying hard to suppress his true feelings.
At times, with its fey animated sequences and self-conscious zaniness, the film becomes just a little too whimsical.
Its plotting is predictable but Kazan and Radcliffe make a thoroughly engaging double act.
Michael Douse, 102 mins, starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts