What If DVD Review

     Actors: Daniel Radcliffe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2014
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2017
  • Run Time: 90 minutes


            I desperately wanted to like the romantic comedy spoof, They Came Together, because few genres of film are as formulaic and predictable. The problem with that film was the inability to exceed the sheer ridiculousness of the popular date movie narrative. Even in the attempt to mock romantic comedies, They Came Together simply resembled the worst, most contrived, formulaic and cliché of the genre; like What If. If you picture any stereotypical romantic comedy scenario, it is presented unironically somewhere in the 98-minute running-time of this fluff art.


             The film begins with a boy (Daniel Radcliffe) meeting a girl (Zoe Kazan), falling easily into the predictable rhythm of the saccharine stylings of the genre, wrapped in the pretense of hipster cleverness. Wallace (Radcliffe) is a recent medical school dropout and recovering from a bad break-up when he meets Chantry (Kazan). They have a typical meet-cute at a party and spend the entire evening in conversation, only for it to be revealed that Chantry has a boyfriend and only wants to be friends.


            I have to stop here for a second, because this is the part of the film which only works for female audience members, because a girl who spends an entire evening talking to a guy at a party without realizing that he could be interested in her romantically is either a very cruel liar or unforgivably ignorant. And the fact that Wallace agrees to just having friendship puts him in one of two categories; a sleaze-bag intending to steal another man’s girlfriend, or a spineless leech with the intention of latching on until an opportunity arises. Anyone who believes anything else would be possible is naïve enough to live in the world of romantic comedies.


            So that is our set-up for this irritatingly bubbly movie about dumb and selfish young people; essentially just When Harry Met Sally for hipsters. There are other elements, all taken from other romantic comedies. There is the cartoonishly protective boyfriend (Rafe Spall), who the filmmakers must warp into a caricature to make up for the fact that he is the most relatable character in the movie. There is the obnoxiously slothful best-friend (Adam Driver) to spout out advice as though he has the whole world figured out. There are impulsive romantic sprints through airports and coincidental bump-ins amidst the 1.6 million citizens of Manhattan. If you are fourteen and female, you might eat this vomit-inducingly sweet garbage with a smile. If you have ever actually been in love, this is more insulting than familiar.


            The DVD includes two featurettes; “Opposites Attract” and “Blurred Lines.”


    Entertainment Value: 6.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 4.5/10

    Historical Significance:  1/10

    Special Features: 3/10



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