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article imageReview: ‘The F Word’ stands for fantastic Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 26, 2014 in Entertainment
‘The F Word’s Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are the most charming, down-to-Earth on-screen couple to appear in recent years.
The problem with many romantic comedies is they are exceedingly cliché. Originality in this genre is nearly non-existent. The same boy meets girl narrative is rehashed with new faces and different lines (if you're lucky). Therefore unique entries into this category need to be lauded for their ingenuity and courage to do it differently. The F Word (a.k.a. What If) has earned this distinction by delivering a smart and funny story that didn't come out of a cookie cutter.
After a terrible break up and life-altering decision, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) decided to take a break from the world and hide in his sister's attic. When he finally emerges a year later to attend his best friend's party, he's rewarded by meeting his perfect match: Chantry (Zoe Kazan). She's lovely, quick-witted... and has a long-term boyfriend. They allow their undeniable chemistry to evolve into a profound friendship all the while denying their feelings run deeper until it becomes too much to bear.
The international title plays on the questions that many would ask in this situation. "What if you'd been single or we met first or I'd stayed home or I'd decided not to compose a fridge magnet poem?" The difficulty is dealing with the situation as-is knowing none of those scenarios are possible. Commendably the narrative doesn't dwell on this aspect, but instead allows it to linger in the background and fester into something that demands attention. In the meantime, viewers are entertained by Wallace and Chantry's amusing and seamless dialogue.
According to director Michael Dowse, in addition to the more suggestive title, Canadians will also see "the dirtiest version of the film" as filmmakers altered words to meet the needs of the American regulatory body (MPAA). Which would you rather: "...masturbating on a kitten" or "...masturbating in a kitchen"? (All in the context of outrageous things to do, of course.)
Radcliffe continues to move away from his Harry Potter persona and prove he will not just be a child star never heard from again. He is an excellent leading man with a deadpan sense of humour that makes him likeable and entertaining. Kazan is charmingly quirky, but still entirely sincere in terms of her nature and apparent naiveté. Together, they can undoubtedly become this generation's When Harry Met Sally.
Director: Michael Dowse
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver
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