Since Hollywood romantic comedies are just a waste of time the only place to go for a decent one is the independent film world. It seems like once the shackles of big budgets and stars are shed then a whole world of possibilities opens up. Though this is not exactly an original idea (trying to remain just friends with the person you are in love with) it does feature enough interesting dialogue and non-traditional scenes that it keeps you involved.
Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Woman in Black) has been burned. Romantically, that is. After finding out his long time girlfriend was fooling around on him he dropped out of medical school, taken a dead end job and lives in his single mom sister’s attic. He is so anti-relationship it is not even on his radar in the slightest. Life is dull and drab until he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan – Ruby Sparks, It’s Complicated).
His best friend Allan (Adam Driver – Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln) drags Wallace to a party one night and boom – he meets a delightfully left of centre girl. The make an almost instant connection. So much so that that Wallace forgets about his broken heart and allows himself to consider a relationships with Chantry. Brakes are put on romance when Chantry tells Wallace she lives with her boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall – Prometheus, Life of Pi). However, the connection is so strong that the two go on to forge a close friendship.
Successfully walking the tightrope that is the romantic comedy genre, director Michael Dowse (Goon, It’s All Gone Pete Tong) keeps a fairly steady hand on things yet does not overdirect, if you know what I mean. Every one of its flaws is countered with something positive. It is smart though not stuck up. Things feel natural and loose rather than controlled and stilted. Despite the fact that it is somewhat predictable (a noose around the genre’s neck) it features enough whimsy that it holds your attention. The two leads are completely likeable as their characters. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan have good onscreen chemistry. There is humour though not so much that it gets in the way of the heart of the story. We are still able to get down to the nitty gritty, so you don’t end up feeling frustrated. Basically the film is not your typical cookie cutter romance as it explores many sides and aspects of love.
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