Can a man and a woman really just be friends?

That is the question this movie explores. A typical rom-com (romantic comedy, for those of you not into movie lingo), What If follows the usual story of boy meets girl. In this case however, girl already has a boyfriend. So what does she suggest? “Let’s be friends.” We all know about being friend zoned. The guys seem to take it much harder though. Men, do you agree?

Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) meet one fateful night, courtesy of Chantry’s cousin Allan (Adam Driver) who is Wallace’s friend. It may seem like your run-of-the-mill rom-com but it stood out, at least for me, because of its humour and irregular characters. I call them irregular because Chantry does not meet today’s standard of ‘beauty’ and possibly neither does Wallace. Granting I am biased towards Daniel Radcliffe so I cannot say that with a clear conscience. Also, how many movies have you seen where the female lead is an animator? Anyway back to the movie.

At the time of their meeting, Chantry is living with her long-time boyfriend but clearly expresses her interest in a friendship in Wallace. In my opinion, this should have been an obvious sign, but again, I digress. Chantry and Wallace quickly become friends, seeing as they have the same unique sense of humour and understand each other perfectly. I loved the scene where Wallace and Chantry’s boyfriend meet. That is definitely one for laughs!

As all typical rom-coms go, after all the ups and downs, What If has a happy, sappy ending. Still, it does much more than just portray a friend-zone situation and all its possibilities. It looks at career-path choices, relationships and other lifelike situations. That is what makes What If a relatable flick.

Oh, and did I mention it is originally called The F Word? Also, it was adapted from a play called Toothpaste and Cigars. Yup, this one is for the artsy types.

My verdict? Perfect for date night, a night-in with your girlfriends or if you just want a reminder that the world is not just a bad place after all.

Rated: 4 out of 5


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James Maina is the editor of What To Watch. Passionate about the creative world of film and media, James loves to create magazines, video games, websites and android apps in his spare time, but he is most passionate about one thing: Movies on the big screen. Email your feedback to