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‘What If’: No Harry Potter here

  • CBS Films
    Daniel Radcliffe as Wallace and Zoe Kazan as Chantry star as friends and possible lovers in the romantic comedy "What If."

The de-Potterization of Daniel Radcliffe continues.

It’s still hard to imagine the now grown man as anything other than the lovable little orphan with a white owl and a magic wand, but he manages to make us forget, if just for a bit, in the romantic comedy “What If.”

It helps that Radcliffe, still boyish at 25, stars opposite Zoe Kazan.

She’s 30, but with her big, bright eyes and irrepressible sense of wonder, she always looks a little like a girl playing dress-up.

If Radcliffe’s Wallace were paired with anyone who looked more mature — or taller — we might be back to Square One, wondering when Hermione was going to come along and save the day.

But Radcliffe and Kazan generate nice chemistry as two slightly awkward introverts who bond over Magnetic Poetry while trying to avoid small talk with strangers at a party.

To its credit, “What If” isn’t entirely formulaic.

For one thing, the requisite obstacle between Wallace and Chantry’s happily ever after is Chantry’s perfectly pleasant (if certainly protective) live-in boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall). He’s not easy to dislike, and you could envision Ben and Chantry staying together and having a nice life.

“What If” is also more twee and foul-mouthed than your average spin on “When Harry Met Sally.”

Scenes are intercut with cute little ditties as adorable animation flits across the screen.


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