It’s a story we’ve heard plenty of times before. An adorable guy (Daniel Radcliffe) has been skanking around with his well-intentioned bro friends for far too long without getting action, so one of them (Adam Driver) takes the initiative to get him back in the game. He meets an equally adorable gal, the woman of his dreams, even (Zoe Kazan), but it’s just not meant to be — sister already has a boyfriend (Rafe Spall) back at home. So what’s a ruffled-hair kid to do when he’s met the love of his life and she’s under the impression that they’re best friends?
He pines, that’s what he does. The trailer for What If — the romantic comedy that will surely break all rom-coms if the hit list of tropes packed into just a few minutes are any indication — paints a neat and tidy picture of Wallace and Chantry’s inevitable romance. They’re friends, but can their friendship work if there’s that electric current of chemistry running underneath all of their interactions?
Clearly, the filmmakers (director Michael Dowse and writer Elan Mastai) want us to say an emphatic “no;” these two are destined to wind up together, for their love is so pure and magical that it makes the rest of us and our dumb relationships look pathetic in comparison. Look at them play ping pong together and almost kiss about five times and share a completely avoidable intimate moment in a dressing room. And what about her perfectly acceptable, well-to-do boyfriend who doesn’t really seem to have any discernible character flaws! He doesn’t deserve her the way Wallace does!
Watch the trailer below.
Ain’t love grand? Rom-com cliches aside — yes, she does sit down with her girlfriends and talk about her feelings; yes, there are a whole lot of pep talks happening from both sides — the film seems like a sweet stab at a familiar love story that may have been due for a bit of a polish since the days of When Harry Met Sally. These crazy kids are going to make it work because they’re obligated to by the rules and laws of their genre, but it’s going to be a nice time seeing them figure it out for themselves, especially if friends like a manic, nacho-loving guy played by Driver stick around.
But it has to be said. If this film full of cheesy, dreamy romantic cliches involves a plot point where the love interest is getting on a plane to travel halfway around the world, and it’s probably right after they’ve had a touching and terse moment where they’ve had to reconsider their whole friendship, then it better damn well feature Wallace dashing through an airport to Stop. That. Plane.
What If hits theaters August 8th.