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“What If” You Like It?

| Monday, August 25, 2014

what-if-webKeri O'Mara
What If… Harry Potter got fed up with life after Hogwarts and ditched it all to move to Canada? It makes sense when you picture his life with Ginny — it may have started out nice with Ginny tying his shoes and feeding him mini pies, but a man can only take so much. What if he decided to change his name to Wallace and try out medical school? However, upon arrival Wallace realized school was quite challenging without Hermione’s essay help. What if he scoured the libraries for an annotated version of his chemistry textbook — even venturing into the restricted section – but there was no Half-Blood Prince among the blood type texts? What if, down on his luck — with no half-blood prince recipe for Felix Felicis — Wallace gave it up and decided to live in an attic, returning to his humble beginnings of a confined living space in another’s home?

But then, what if Wallace meets a quirky, bang adorned girl named Chantry, and they hit it off and exchange numbers to meet up as… friends? What if, friend-zoned, Wallace resists the urge to feed her a love potion and a charming friendship ensues? The two bond over one of Elvis’s favorite foods: a loaf of bread buttered and hollowed out for peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other, then stuffed with bacon and baked. What if they discuss everything from fried pickles to Cool Whip and in turn it is obvious that they are perfect for each other, yet Chantry has a boyfriend?

“What If,” this is a movie. The romantic comedy came out August 15 and stars Zoe Kazan as manic pixie dream girl, Chantry, and Daniel Radcliffe as Wallace, a witty, amiable guy recovering from some disastrous relationships. The film also stars “Girls”’ Adam Driver as Allan, Wallace’s best friend. Allan closely resembles Driver’s character in “Girls” — the gritty humor and cynicism are there as he taunts senior citizens playing cricket in the park and yells in celebration over nachos.

The movie is filled with the witty scripting essential to indie rom-coms. Hilarious one-liners and eccentric conversation topics, such as, “Who weighs the feces left in famous people when they die?” abound. The film appeals to fans of the quirky romance genre. Zooey Deschanel enthusiasts will appreciate Zoe Kazan’s endearing performance as a charming animator afraid of letting go of the good to venture into the unknown.

The cast’s performances elevate the film to the top of the “Confusing Indie Romance” category. The idea behind the story may be interpreted as trite at first glance, however upon ninety minutes of glances the story delves deeper and the characters’ tribulations take on tangibility for the viewer. I even stopped picturing Radcliffe in wizard robes after the first thirty minutes, his previous roles in the back of my mind until he disrobed and my mom nudged me stating, “That’s Harry Potter naked. Isn’t that wrong? Isn’t this weird?”

Maybe Radcliffe’s legacy as The Chosen One will never leave him, however he makes a convincing Not The Chosen One when friend-zoned in the film. One thing is for sure, Radcliffe’s flirty banter has improved grandly since that awkward instance on the owlery steps with Cho Chang. If you’re wondering “What if I go see this movie. Will I like it?” the answer is yes if you have an inclination for the idiosyncratic indie romance film.

About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

Contact Erin