What if: A Romantic Comedy meets Independent Film

If you like dreamcatchers, yoga, and frequently use the hashtag bohochic on instagram, What if (or The F-Word as its titled in some countries) is the perfect film for you: when Wallace meets Chantry, the two of them share an instant connection. Unfortunately she is already taken, so Wallace agrees to be friends with her. But: can men and women ever truly just be friends?


What if / The F-Word (2013): Directed by Michael Dowse; 98mins; starring “Potter” Radcliffe, indie darling Zoe Kazan (The Pretty One, In your eyes, Happythankyoumoreplease), Adam Driver (ugh, go away Kylo Ren, nobody likes, a.k.a that prick Lena Dunham is sleeping with on Girls), Rafe Spall (One Day, I give it a year), Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment).

What’s it about? Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan) meet over refrigerator poetry at a houseparty (see clip above). The instant connection the two of them make is undeniable, but Chantry already has a boyfriend (Spall). So Wallace settles for being friends, secretly hoping that someday she’ll see the light and realise that they are meant to be together.

What’s it really about? The sort of intense connection with another human soul we all secretly long to have.

Pick if:

  • You’re up for an atypical romantic comedy: granted, What if doesn’t exactly subvert the romcom genre, but it certainly redesigns. Instead of blunt, slapstick comedy, dialogues that are devoid of any realism or authenticity, and over-the-top romantic gestures, this movie offers playful conversations, oftentimes about completely random and nonsensical topics such as brainstorming names for spray whipped cream and two love interests giving each other the must disgusting snack ever to express their affection. I daresay it even manages to develop the obligatory sidekick characters of Allan (Driver) and Nicole (Davis) into people you might actually know in real life which is why you become invested in them almost as much as the principal couple Chantry and Wallace
  • You like stories about friends who fall in love such as When Harry met Sally, One Day, A lot like love
  • You haven’t had enough of quirky twentysomething girls with a vintage sense of fashion (i.e. every character Zoey Deschanel has ever played), soundtracks that consist almost exclusively of soft, melancholic indie music (first and foremost Patrick Watson’s Big Bird in a small cage) and boho aesthetic.
  • You want to see gorgeous shots of Toronto and Dublin
  • You aren’t thrown off by diegetic cartoon designs suddenly becoming animated and taking flight as a means to transition from one scene to the next 
  • You enjoy looking at unconventionally pretty people such as Zoe Kazan and Mackenzie Davis
  • You appreciate dialogues that seem real

Most memorable quote: “Love is stupid monkey dancing in a slapstick hurricane” – Wallace’ refrigerator poem

Most memorable scene: Chantry gets stuck while taking off a dress she’s tried on and calls Wallace for help. Reluctantly he agrees to help her remove the dress, but it visibly kills him to be this intimately close to the girl of his dreams and not be able to do anything about it or even tell her how he feels.

Magic Music Moment: After Allan and Nicole left them stranded on a beach with no clothes and nothing but a single sleeping bag to keep them warm, Wallace and Chantry are furious at their friends and each other. Nobody says a word as the four of them drive home. Hosh’s Woohoo starts to play.

Where do I know her from? Mackenzie Davis, born April 1st, 1987 in Vancouver, Canada

  • That Awkward Moment: Mackenzie plays Miles Teller’s best friend whom he ends up falling in love with
  • The Martian
  • Freaks of Nature. I’ve rarely related more to a character than to Mackenzie’s Petra, a naive high school girl who gets pressured into giving it up to a pretentious douchebag played by Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick. And by it I mean her life, as he turns her into a vampire

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