Thursday, July 31, 2014

What If (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“What If”
Radcliffe Met Kazan

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Daniel Radcliffe refuses to be typecast as a boy wizard. Despite starring in the “Harry Potter” franchise, the second highest grossing series in film history, he has worked hard at breaking that magic mold.

For example, he showed his twinkie live on Broadway in “Equus.” He played a gay poet in “Kill Your Darlings.” He’s set to play Igor in a new version of “Frankenstein.” And now he’s starring in a movie called “What If.”

“What If,” indeed. This film is the latest advanced preview in the New York Film Critics series. It’s showing this coming Wednesday night at the Tropic Cinema.

Radcliffe’s new foray is a romantic comedy. The original title was “The F Word.”

No, you naughty reader … F stands for Friend, that dreaded designation in any male-female relationship.

Fifty years ago “When Harry Met Sally” was arguing that a man and woman cannot be friends without sex rearing its ugly head. “What If” argues that “the Friend Zone” is the Sargasso Sea for potential relationships.

Here, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) falls for Chantry (Zoe Kazan) only to discover that she already has a boyfriend, so he has no other choice than be her “friend.” Or not.

Needless to say, the movie is about Wallace trying to escape from the Friend Zone. And no spoiler alert is needed to remind you that this is a cute boy-gets-girl rom-com.

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