Daniel Radcliffe turns to the romantic comedy for the movie 'What If'

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in the movie 'What If,' which centers on a man in love with his friend, who already has a boyfriend. Daniel Radcliffe's other upcoming projects include the more horror-based films 'Horns' and 'Frankenstein.'

Caitlin Cronenberg/CBS Films
Daniel Radcliffe (l.) and Zoe Kazan (r.) star in 'What If.'

Actor Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan of “Ruby Sparks” star in the upcoming romantic comedy “What If,” which centers on two friends who might also be something more.

“If” is directed by Michael Dowse and is based on the play “Cigars and Toothpaste,” which is by Michael Rinaldi and T.J. Dawe.

In the film, Radcliffe’s character Wallace becomes attracted to Chantry (Kazan), only to find out that she already has a boyfriend (“Shaun of the Dead” actor Rafe Spall). They then develop a friendship.

In addition to starring in “Ruby,” Kazan also wrote the 2012 film about a writer who discovers his dream girl character has come to life. After starring in the “Harry Potter” films, Radcliffe has appeared in such movies as the 2012 horror film “The Woman in Black,” the 2013 movie “Kill Your Darlings” in which he portrayed Allen Ginsberg. He will play a young man who grows horns on his head in the upcoming movie “Horns” as well as portraying Victor Frankenstein’s assistant Igor in 2015’s “Frankenstein.” 

Some outlets are wondering if “What If” can revive its genre, which they say is in danger. Variety writer Ramin Setoodeh penned a story titled “Why Hollywood Shouldn’t Give Up on the Romantic Comedy” and noted that “What If” “feels like a throwback to Nora Ephron," while the headline of Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Labrecque’s story asked, “Can Daniel Radcliffe save the romantic comedy?”

“As a genre, the romantic comedy has been coasting on fumes for several years,” he wrote. “What If [is] a throwback to the likes of When Harry Met Sally… there is something sweet about [it].”

Radcliffe told the San Francisco Chronicle that it was the creative take of “What If” on what seems like a predictable story that attracted him to the film.

“Where most romantic comedies sort of squeeze out complexities from the plot, this movie embraces them," he said. "Rafe's character is the romantic obstacle and could have been written as the villain, but he's this attentive, good-looking, lovely, successful guy, which creates this tension.”

The actor, who cited the 1981 movie “Arthur” as his favorite rom-com, said he enjoyed being able to improvise on set, something he hadn’t done on his other projects.

“I got to… bring in my own sense of humor, which I'd never done before,” he said. "My real job each day was just to show up and make Zoe Kazan laugh." 

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.