What If

Critics Consensus

Its narrative framework may be familiar, but What If transcends its derivative elements with sharp dialogue and the effervescent chemistry of stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.



Total Count: 131


Audience Score

User Ratings: 25,010
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Movie Info

WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan (Adam Driver) seems to be finding the perfect partner (Mackenzie Davis), Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend? The ensemble romantic comedy costars Megan Park and Oona Chaplin. (C) CBS Films

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Critic Reviews for What If

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (47)

  • What If doesn't take too many surprising turns to get where you know it's going to go, but it handles each turn with consummate professionalism.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Full Review…

    David Sims

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • If this all sounds a bit unromantic, What If certainly shows true love is difficult. For this boy and girl, falling hard for someone is a choice rather than a destiny.

    Jul 19, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Nerd wish-fulfillment of the first order, this Canadian rom-com places an artificial barrier between its cute-as-a-button leads and asks us to stick around for an hour and a half until it's artificially removed.

    Aug 28, 2014 | Full Review…
  • We're used to rom-coms that show off hot bodies (see Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits). With these two, it's their melancholy average-ness that make us go wow.

    Aug 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Long before the script permits the characters to acknowledge the obvious, you lose patience: Jump into the deep end of the bed already. It would be more fun and friendly to all concerned, especially the audience.

    Aug 22, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The dialogue is believable and funny, even if strays a little too often into the grotesque eating and toilet habits of the late Elvis Presley.

    Aug 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for What If

  • Jan 01, 2019
    Radcliffe and Kazan work perfectly together and carry the film through some of the sluggish beats. Romantic comedy films are a dime a dozen, but if you have the right casting choices it will go a long way. The witty writing is what carries the film and the filmmaker allows the characters to interract with the surroundings. The one thing I hate about films is that they aren't self aware. Think about it. How often do you watch a film and the characters are just invested in the script. Pop culture and 80 years of storytelling history is at our finger tips. What If exploits the barrier and enjoys balancing the story with references from other films, and this is why it succeeds. A great film, but the cliche conclusion hurts the film. 31/12/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2017
    If I had to compile a list of my least favorite film genres, it would, honestly, be a really short list. I fucking hate the evil child subgenre of films, like absolutely loathe it. That's not saying that there can't be good movies using that concept, The Omen is a perfect example of this, but having to buy into the idea that children are evil, when they're not, is just laughable to me. Another one of those genres would have to be romantic comedies. And, even more so than the evil child subgenre, the rom-com genre is not something that I'm even opposed to, there's plenty of rom-coms that I've reviewed positively on this site and there's plenty of rom-coms that I will review positively in the future. I think it's more genetic more than anything else. That's not a real reason, actually, when I say rom-coms what I really mean are those sappy, super sentimental movies that you see on the Hallmark Channel and if you watch reruns of the Golden Girls on Hallmark (which I do) then you'll completely understand what I'm saying. Long story short, I'm not opposed to rom-coms with well-built characters put into situations that explores their relationships in interesting ways. And I'm not ashamed to say that this is one of those movies. Of course it's not the best romantic comedy I have ever seen, nor is it even close to that, but it's quite a good movie with great leads. Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe are both tremendous in this movie and their chemistry is truly top-notch. Zoe Kazan, in films like this, is just downright lovely. She's obviously a very diverse character, as can be seen in The Monster (and underrated film if I ever saw one). But she's great in these roles and her character is interesting. She's stuck in a relationship with a man who, due to his work with the U.N, is never home, always travelling to other countries (in Europe). He's a good guy, from what the film shows you, but he's just never around. Obviously, the loneliness starts to get to Chantry. Before Chantry's boyfriend leaves, however, she becomes friends with Wallace (Radcliffe) and they very quickly take to one another. Wallace has suffered a bad break-up, where he was cheated on, and his mother and father constantly cheated on each other. So he's very clearly against the whole concept of affairs and he, in spite of being attracted to Chantry very much, earnestly becomes friends with her. It's a story that's fairly predictable, it has been told many times before and will continue to be told until the end of time. Some will be better than this and some will be worse. But this movie really does get by on the considerable talents of its leads. I mentioned it already, but Zoe and Daniel do have some tremendous chemistry together. This is, realistically, the most important part of these types of films. That should be obvious, but sometimes you have rom-coms where, separately, the leads are very good, but you never believe for a second that they would ever be in a romantic relationship with one another. Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there, sometimes it's the writing that's shit. The best of these films are those where you can buy into the fact that they could actually be a couple in real life. That's how convincing the actors need to be in order to get the story you want to tell across. And that's how good Zoe and Daniel are in this movie. Of course, they're helped by the fact that the script is funny, insightful and the supporting cast is really strong (Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis are the comedic highlights of the film). So it's not that the movie relies entirely just on their leads to carry the movie, they're supplemented by everything that I already mentioned. And perhaps supplement is understating the point, because I think they're an essential part of the film as well. Hell, a good script should always be essential, it's just that it doesn't always work out that way. Thankfully, though, it works out in this movie. The last act itself was a little too perfect for me and Chantry's relationship with her boyfriend (or ex by the end of the film) and its resolution felt a little unsatisfactory. That did hold back the movie a little bit, at least to me. I'd still say that this is a good movie and I would give it an easy recommendation if you want something that's quick and easy to watch. It's not a popcorn movie, but it's a good rom-com nonetheless.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2017
    At the end of the day it's a typical romedy, but it manages to seduce you into rooting for it. Off the charts chemistry between Radcliffe/Kazan, plus grounded and convincing dialogue really brings this tale of romance to life. It's hilarious as it is heartfelt in sincerity and that really helps transcend the tropes of its genre
    Drake T Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2016
    This movie ripped my heart out and served it on a plate with warm tea and cookies. With highly relatable characters (not gonna lie, I see myself in Daniel Radcliffe), What If is highly charming fare, until its too easy ending. Still there's no denying the pull the film had on me. Well done. Rating: 74
    Bradley J Super Reviewer

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